Skift Take

Biking is healthier, more enjoyable and more reliable than most other forms of public transportation; it is also changing people's relationship with their busy urban cities.

Series: Skift Podcast

Skift Podcast

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The humble bike is experiencing a cultural renaissance.

Bike share programs are popping up in cities all over the world from New York to Medellín, city streets are transforming with the addition of painted bike lanes, and boutique bike brands are discovering a new and growing customer base.

In the past few years, the world has awakened to the secret that Northern Europeans have known for decades: Biking is healthier, more enjoyable and more reliable than most other forms of public transportation.

To discuss the evolution of bike transportation in the U.S. and beyond, host Samantha Shankman and Skift co-founder and head of content Jason Clampet sit down with Dani Simmons, who has worked in sustainable transportation in New York City for 11 years and currently serves as the director of communications and government affairs at Motivate (operators of Citibike), the nation’s largest bike share operator; and Dean DiSimone, who went from architect to media executive to owner of Tokyobike New York, which sells well-designed, lightweight bikes based on the concept of Tokyo Slow.

One of the most interesting parts of the discussion touches on the relationship between bike share programs and independent bike shops. Rather than steal customers with the lure of low maintenance memberships, DiSimone says that bike share programs have actually turned more pedestrians into bikers. City dwellers are overcoming their fears with a relatively light bike share investment and then taking the plunge and buying their own bike.

You’ll also hear more about what sparked this transit evolution on an individual and government level, New York’s role in inspiring other cities to roll out bike shares, and what these new habits mean for city infrastructure and transportation in the future.

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Tags: bikes, skift podcast, the skift travel podcast

Photo credit: How bike share services are changing cities, our latest podcast. Zimbia / Flickr

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