Philly might be a little behind the curve on bike sharing: the first concrete progress toward a starting a program was the $3 million dollar allocation for it in this year's budget. The system will be implemented in two phases, but the first phase won't hit the streets until 2014. Lagging behind other cities might be a good thing, though: we can learn from the successes and failures of other bike share programs.
Philly's implementation plan is to launch 650 bikes in the first phase of the program, and that's a good thing: in other cities, small pilot launches didn't do nearly as well as large launches.
Philly's plans also include a conscientious approach to making the bikes available to low-income riders. Making the bike share available and affordable to low-income residents has been key to the success of Boston's bike share program, which offers low-income riders $5 yearly memberships. There's no word yet on how much a bike share membership will cost, but it will undoubtedly be less than the cost of a transpass: in DC, yearly bike share memberships cost $75, which looks pretty good compared to the price of a monthly SEPTA Transpass ($83).
· Learning from Boston and D.C. in an Early Look at Philly Bike Share [Next City]