Florida was an early adopter of bike share in the United States. In 2011, the state added two programs–one in Broward County and the other in Miami Beach. And South Florida radio station WLRN recently compared the success of each. While Decobike Miami Beach has seen over two million rides, Broward has only seen about 40,000. The article claims that Broward County and Miami Beach share a lot of similarities like tourism and flat topography, but the parking scarcity in Miami Beach and low station density in Broward separate the two systems.
While both parking scarcity and station density play a role, other differences separate the two systems as well–most notably, total bike fleet, marketing, population density and demographics.
Broward has approximately one quarter the number of bikes (275 bikes in 27 stations) compared to DecoBike (1000 bikes in 115 stations). And in terms of marketing, DecoBike has employed a very unique plan that makes bike share sexy (as an example, see photo above taken from DecoBike’s Instagram account).
Furthermore, the wealthier, denser, and more tourist-centric Miami Beach provides an ideal setting for bike share usage. A previous study conducted by Bikeshare.com showed that Broward County has one of the lowest per capita incomes of any place in the United States with a bike share program–on the other hand, Miami Beach has one of the highest. Adding to that, Miami Beach has approximately ten times the density of people living in the area.
These factors, along with others not mentioned, combine to separate the usage rates of each–not simply parking and station density.
To read WLRN’s article, go here.