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When it comes to finding developed, bike-friendly cities that don’t have bike share systems, the pickings are getting slimmer and slimmer, proving that bike share can work almost anywhere. Even Medellin, Colombia, with its hilly favelas, launched a pilot bike share program in 2012. But some great cities are holding out. So the team here at scanned the globe to find them and root them out of their hiding places. We put together a map of them above. And here they are in list form:

  1. Tokyo, Japan
  2. Santa Monica, CA, USA
  3. Cape Town, South Africa
  4. Lima, Peru
  5. Philadelphia, PA, USA
  6. Portland, OR, USA
  7. Malmö, Sweden
  8. Honolulu, HI, USA
  9. Bogotá, Colombia
  10. Phuket, Thailand

To determine which cities were ideally suited for bike share, we looked at the following factors: tourism, weather, topography, bike and public transit infrastructure, traffic congestion, bike mode share, and population density. The most bike-share-ready city has a steady tourist population, mild winters and summers, relatively flat topography, extensive public transit, good bike infrastructure, some traffic congestion, a decent bike mode share, and a relatively dense population.

Based on those factors, we found Tokyo, which was recently named the 10th best bike-friendly city in the world by our friends at Copenhagenize, to be the best fit for a city-wide bike share program. Malmö, Sweden gets our most well-designed city for bike share award and Phuket, Thailand rounds out the top ten with its compacted tourist destinations and potentially bike-friendly streets on the southwest shores.

Some of the cities in our top ten, like Portland and Philadelphia, are planning  bike share programs. But because they haven’t launched yet, they still make the list.

Do you know of a city that would be great for bike share not listed above? Tell us about it in the comments below.


  • Derrick Moennick

    Vancouver, BC

    • Matthew Christensen

      The helmet law is the only thing holding Vancouver out of our top 5.

      • Derrick Moennick

        There are multiple helmet dispensing kiosks now.

  • Tom Glendening

    Austin, TX

    • Matthew Christensen

      Austin is very well-suited for bike share, no question! Definitely an honorable mention.


    Vancouver BC