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Yellow bicycle program

From Academic Kids

Yellow bicycle programs are one variation on an international movement to provide environmentally friendly transportation options to citizens. Yellow bicycles programs are also known (more generally) as community bicycle programs.

Community bicycle programs appear in all shapes and sizes in cities throughout the world. The central concept of these programs is the offering of free (or nearly free) access to bicycles for inner-city transportation. The goal of these programs is to reduce the use of automobiles for short trips inside the city and cuts down on traffic congestion and air-pollution.

Though there are many variations on this concept, one of the more common manifestations is a system of "hubs". In this version of the program, bicycles are kept at volunteer-run "hubs" or "kiosks" throughout the city. Individuals registered with the program can present their membership cards at any of the hubs to check out a bicycle for a specified period of time.

Community bicycle programs struggle against theft and vandalism. In one program tried in 1993 in Cambridge, United Kingdom, all 300 bicycles were stolen on the first day of operation, and the program was abandoned.

One of the first community bicycle projects in the United States was started in Portland, Oregon in the mid-1990s and took the approach of simply releasing a number of bicycles to the streets for un-restricted use. This program failed initially due to theft and vandalism of the bicycles. The program was later revised to operate under a more restrictive system. Since then many community projects around the country have attempted similar models and met with varying degrees of success.

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