Win a free helmet! Come to any of our Bike Month events and enter our raffle for the chance to win a free XNITO helmet ($150 value).
Xnito makes high-quality ebike helmets that provide exceptional protection and comfort. Its lightweight design and aerodynamic shape make it perfect for cyclists and e-riders, while its advanced safety features, including front and rear LED lights plus high-speed protection up to 28 mph ensure the ultimate protection on the road. With a range of sizes and colors, the Xnito helmet is the best choice for anyone looking for a safe and stylish option for their next adventure.
By Katerina Im, Bikeshare Hawaii Intern
Over the last decade, bike sharing has taken off in cosmopolitan cities across the world. Biking itself has numerous health and environmental benefits, and bike sharing is convenient and cost effective. As of 2021, there were over 3,000 programs across the world and that number has continued to grow.
Based in Brazil, Tembici is the largest bike sharing company in Latin America. Tembici operates in three countries: Brazil, Argentina, and Chile, and has 18,800 bikes. This successful company has been popular among South Americans due to its “comfort” aspect. In 2022 study, 39%* of Tembici users cited “comfort” (convince) as their main reason for using the bike sharing system. One of the benefits of bike sharing is that riders do not have to pay outright for a bike, for maintenance, or storage. Another striking fact the study found was that percentage of usership among female Tembici riders was 38%* higher than the average percentage of female cyclists in countries where Tembici operates. Many women expressed their affinity towards safeness of the bike sharing program.
Additionally, Tembici’s success can be attributed to its partnerships with other companies in their community. iFood is a food delivery company, similar to BiteSquad, that works with Tembici in Brazil to use 2,500 bikes for their services. Tembici hopes to expand its network of riders and wants to add 10,000 bikes by the end of the year.
Bike sharing’s popularity only rose in the recent decades, but was actually invented in Amsterdam in the 1965. The world’s first bike sharing program was called the Witte Fietsenplan (the White Bicycle Plan). The Witte Fietsenplan was started by a group of young activists who painted some bikes white and left them around the city for people to use free of charge. The white bikes were a symbol of protest against the growing number of cars in Amsterdam. Cars caused air pollution, burdened the city’s unfit infrastructure, and made streets dangerous for children to play in. However, the original Wittee Fietsenplan did not turn out to be successful because the bikes were quickly removed by police and Amsterdam’s city planners did not see biking as “the future.”
Today, there are multiple bike sharing programs in Amsterdam and 38% of all trips in the city are taken by bike (both personal and through sharing programs).
In many African cities, air pollution is a major health and environmental concern. In the hustle and bustle of the cities, traffic can get heavy and many of the cars on the road are older models, which emit more pollutants.
Kigali, Rwanda just launched its first bike sharing program in partnership with Guraride in 2021. Guraride started out with 80 bikes and hopes to expand their program. To increase ridership and get the residents of Kigali accustomed to bike share programs, Guraride offers the first 30 days of their membership free.
Kigali hopes to use biking and bike sharing as a method to reduce carbon emissions and pollution in their city. There are plans to increase the length of bike lanes, making biking a safer and more viable transportation option in the city.
China is infamous around the world for its air pollution. To combat their poor air quality and heavy traffic, the Chinese government and private companies invested large amounts of money into clean transportation over the last decade. Bike sharing blasted China’s urban streets starting in 2007, but by 2019 the bike sharing bubble burst and bike graveyards became prevalent. There were too many bikes and not enough users in Chinese cities.
Despite its massive failure, bike sharing has come back to China, but on a smaller and more carefully planned out scale. The more “thoughtful” bike sharing programs have shown success, especially with the help of AI in placing bikes/docks in locations with high biking demand. Additionally, electric bikes are being introduced to the bike share mix, making long distance biking easier. During the pandemic, biking has become more popular among Chinese citizens because it avoids the risks of catching illnesses on public transportation.
Similar to China, bike sharing in Australia also saw difficulties. Bike sharing programs dealt with problems of having too many bikes, not enough users, stealing, and bike littering. Many programs in Australia used the method of dock less biking, where users can simply park their bikes at bike racks or along sidewalks. While dock less biking may seem like a convenient idea, it also causes a lot of vandalism and stealing. Australia also has harsh helmet and bike laws with significant fines that may scare away potential bikers.
Certain bike share companies left Australian cities, but others are starting up on a smaller scale. There is also hope that e-bike systems will be more popular in Australia.
In 2013, the Citi Bike program, part of Lyft, was launched in New York City and has grown to be the largest bike sharing system in the U.S.. After the height of the pandemic, Citi Bikes have grown even more popular among New Yorkers and the company cannot keep up with the demand. New York City has a goal to increase the size of the fleet from 24,000 to 40,000 bikes by the end of 2024.
New Yorkers love bike sharing because it is a convenient, environmentally-friendly, and fast option. Traffic in New York is always extremely bad, so in many instances, biking can be faster than driving. NYC is also making it easier and safer for bikers by adding more bike lanes— both regular and protected.
Not all residents are liking the rise in bikers, however. The expanded bike lanes compete with outdoor dining spaces, complaints from drivers, and fewer parking stalls. However, overall, both New Yorkers and their government officials are looking to bike sharing as an integral part of the future of clean transportation in the most populated city in America.
Of course, in Hawaii, we have our own bike sharing program— Biki! With 130 stations, Biki provides a great “green” and convenient way to travel throughout downtown Honolulu. Whether you are a local or a tourist, include Biki as a part of your transportation plan to travel around the city of Honolulu.
Guest Blogger: Katerina Im is a rising Senior at Punahou School. She is very passionate about environmental issues and is especially interested in climate change and plastic pollution. Learn more about her non-profit, Plastics 4 A Purpose.
We recently installed a Biki Stop outside of Planet Fitness at Ala Moana Shopping Center! PF is welcoming us to the neighborhood by offering riders an amazing deal through July 20. Ride on over to their fitness center off Kapiolani Boulevard and get access to their clean and spacious Judgement Free Zone for only $1 down and $10 per month.
Planet Fitness Ala Moana is also helping us celebrate the new Biki Stop and Bike Month with free snacks and refreshments for cyclists at our Energizer Station on 7/19. Ride by the Planet Fitness Biki Stop from 3:30 - 6pm! Learn more at GoBiki.org/BikeMonth
by Peter R., Guest Blogger
Where did bikeshare start? You probably won’t be surprised.
Along with a legal red-light district, public pot smoking and canals, Amsterdam is known as a city where cyclists rule. It has not always been so. Amsterdam leaders got serious about reducing auto congestion by supporting cycling in the 1970s. Since then, the city has become an elaborate network of cycle-paths and lanes, so safe and comfortable that even toddlers and elderly people use bikes as the easiest mode of transport.
So, you probably won’t be surprised to learn that in 1965, Amsterdam was home to what is now considered the first bikeshare system. Luud Schimmelpennink – considered the father of bikeshare – started Witte Fietsen ("White Bikes"). He collected bicycles, painted them white and simply left them on the streets for public use. With no locks or payment system, however, many bicycles were quickly damaged and stolen. Witte Fietsen seemed like a failure but it laid the foundation for bikeshare.
Though it took 20 years to revive, the concept was not forgotten. The next major bikeshare, called Copenhagen City Bikes, eventually secured public and private funding which allowed it to flourish. Bycykler København featured fixed docks where riders deposited a coin to unlock a bike. The coin was returned when the bike was returned to a dock.
Washington D.C was the first US city to launch a bikeshare system: Capitol Bikes in 2010. It continues to be one of the most popular systems in the nation and has attracted several other scooter and e-bike players.
Hawaii B-Cycle was Hawaii's first introduction to modern bikeshare in 2011. It was a three-year pilot project limited to Kailua Oahu. The two-station and 12-bike system was a partnership between the State Department of Health, Momentum Multisport, and B-Cycle.
A year later, the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative & the State Department of Health identified bikeshare in Urban Honolulu as a key strategy and a Bikeshare Working Group was formed with the goal of bringing a public, large-scale bikeshare system to Honolulu.
Biki was launched in 2017 it has been one of the most heavily used systems per-capita in the country. We face the same challenges as other cities in the early transition to more bicycle use: vandalism, funding challenges, some lingering antipathy from motorists. But, in just 5 short years, Biki has become fully integrated into the city and is regularly used by more than 100,000 annual riders. Bikeshare makes cycling more accessible and more affordable for residents and visitors, and gets more people on bikes. And when more people are on bikes, there is more demand for safe places to ride. In just 5 short years the city has improved and extended existing bikeways, installed bike infrastructure on Pensacola, Ward and Alakea, and planned for the design of several more complete streets projects.
Will Honolulu ever be an Amsterdam or Copenhagen or even Paris for bikeshare and other personal or “micro” mobility? Only time will tell, but we think we're headed in the right direction.
Bike Month is a national celebration of biking and Blue Planet Foundation is leveraging the Love to Ride platform to run a fun competition between Hawaii residents and workplaces to see which can get the most friends and family to ride a bike during May.
It's not about who can ride the most miles, but about encouraging as many people as possible to set themselves biking goals and ride for health, happiness and fun.
Here's what you need to know:
New bike lanes in 2019, May Member of the Month, upcoming pau hana event and an exclusive Biki Member offer!
Three long-time friends celebrated a milestone birthday with a hike, swim and first-time Biki ride! Mahalo to Judy, Ruta and Emily for sharing their story and photos.
In April, Kanu Hawaii hosted Volunteer Week and brought together 100+ events & 5,000+ volunteers across 7 islands! We took the opportunity to partner with Hawaii Meals on Wheels (HMOW) during the week to encourage individuals and coworkers to deliver meals to the community on Biki bikes! We're thrilled that, in addition to delivery over 70 meals and bringing over 20 first-time volunteers to Meals on Wheels, organizations such as Inspire Church and HIC have continued to host their own Biki Meals on Wheels following the partnership.
Now, we're making plans to partner again as the 2019 holiday season approaches. If you are interested in delivering meals to members of the community leading up to Thanksgiving, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to coordinate. As thanks for donating your time, up to 20 participants will receive 50% off their next month of rides (Commuter Plan).
From left to right: Cameron Black and Jonathan Chin from the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism Office (DBEDT), Daniel Simonich from ProsPac Holdings, June Chee from DBEDT, Dember Domen and Ben Trevino from Hawaii Authority for Rapid Transit (HART)
Please note: All meals are picked up at the Straub Medical Center at Biki Stop 402 between 11 am and 12 pm and delivered in pairs of 2. Volunteers can expect to deliver 2-4 meals with a partner to residences within Kakaako and Makiki.
"I volunteered to find more fun and convenient ways for my colleagues at work to get involved in their communities. Meal delivery on Biki was a fun, easy, and rewarding way to give back a little in the middle of the day!"
-Ben F., HART
"Volunteering is a fun and rewarding way to contribute to the community. Biking while volunteering makes it more so! I participated in this event because Meals on (Biki) Wheels was a combo of things I like, using bikes as a functional mode of transport while delivering meals to folks who may be less mobile. The best part was making the delivery itself, because everyone likes a hot meal and the genuine gratitude of the recipients was refreshing. It was also nice to get out of the office and ride around town on my lunch break."
- Jonathan C., DBEDT
"I was happy to volunteer for Biki Meals on Wheels! It was fun to get on Biki and deliver meals by bicycle. It was a great opportunity to be active while doing something good for my community. Thank you for this great opportunity! I’m excited to do it again in the future."
-Diane Dohm, OahuMPO
"Delivering food to Hawaii Meals on Wheels’ clients on Biki bikes was a fun and easy way to help others in our community. What a physically and spiritually rewarding way to spend a lunch break! Thanks to both organizations for the opportunity and for making the entire delivery process so efficient. The partnership between Hawaii Meals on Wheels and Biki makes a lot of sense."
- Cam B., DBEDT
"Meals on wheels hold a very special place in my heart as they have delivered food to my ohana. The service that Hawaii Meals on Wheels is priceless! When I learned about the collaboration with Biki and Meals on Wheels I was excited and honored to volunteer my time to deliver a meal to someone’s kupuna. This experience is humbling and I hope to participate in it in the near future."
-Dember D., HART
HMOW serves over 400 meals a day to Hawaii's kupuna, providing households with hot meals as well as some company during lunch or dinner time.
Thanks to HHF Planners, Blue Planet Foundation, HART, DBEDT, OahuMPO, and Office of Climate Change Sustainability and Resiliency for rallying coworkers to volunteer as a group! A special shout-out goes to our high school volunteer, Jack, who used this opportunity to complete his final hours of volunteer service for Saint Louis High School!
Don’t want to sign up for a plan? Purchase a single ride ($3.50/30-minutes) from the kiosk or the Biki Mobile App.
Get the scoop on all the free and fun events happening in May for Bike Month!