Across Europe, public Bike Share Systems have been a massive success. Lyon would probably be the best example, but nearly every major city has them in one form or another. In Copenhagen they’re fairly simple, come with a basic cartoonish city map for tourists on the handlebars and simply join up with chains which release with a coin deposit, like shopping carts. In Berlin on the other hand, at least when I was last there (a few years ago now), they’re big high-tech beasts with a phone number on the side which you call on your cell phone, give them your account/credit card number and the bike’s number and it’s unlocked remotely. One way or another, bikes have been repeatedly shown to be the fastest way to move through urban centres, and are far cheaper than buses or LRTs.

The City of Hamilton is now running an online survey seeking input into a possible system like this for Hamilton. It’s decades ahead of the usual 1950’s freeway-happy development we’re used to from city hall, so it’s probably worth encouraging.