Need a cheap, easy way to get around? Not a problem — if you’re in a city with a bike-sharing program. These systems allow you to rent a bicycle from a checkout station, take it for a ride, and return it to any kiosk in the network. Many bike-sharing programs require a credit card to secure a membership that entitles you to unlimited rides for the subscription period, which can be anywhere from one day to a year.
Communities are taking bike shares for a spin because the initiatives relieve traffic congestion, help commuters, and offer tourists a leisurely and cheap way to sightsee. Plus, bike-share stations can be installed inexpensively. Capital Bikeshare in Washington, D.C., is the nation’s largest, with more than 1,800 bikes and 200 stations, but smaller systems are popping up all over. Find out whether there’s a similar program near you by cruising on over to BikeShare.
Rebecca Martin is an Associate Editor at MOTHER EARTH NEWS magazine, where her beats include DIY and Green Transportation. She's an avid cyclist and has never met a vegetable she didn't like. You can find her on Google+.