I ran across Dublin Community Blog via Just Williams in which a scheme is in the works to provide public bicycles in the city of Dublin. I knew Portland had its Yellow Bike Program years ago, but hadn’t heard anything about it for a long time. Apparently it’s defunct, which is a shame. I “Googled” it, and found this entry at Wikipedia, which goes into great depth about community bike sharing programs around the world. Most are very recent, and according to this article Montreal is just launching one this year, although precisely when it doesn’t say:
Montreal will begin a city-wide rollout of rental bicycles in 2008, in an effort to encourage locals and tourists to make use of the city’s already well-established network of bike paths. The rental bicycles will be available from depots located throughout the city, where bikes can be rented from automated stations using a credit card.
The Public Bike System – as the official municipal entity will be known – estimates that by 2009, 2,400 bicycles will be deployed at 300 depots throughout the metro area.
I wish Dublin and Montreal (and all cities) much success with their programs. Perhaps as these systems refine and improve, Portland will give it another go.