Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) in England has invested 145,000 GBP (~US$175,000) to establish ‘bike libraries’ for local communities.It’s hoped that this project will encourage more people to take advantage of the new cycling routes being created across the city. The project forms part of the city’s Bee Network – which is designed to provide an integrated London-style transport system that includes electric buses, trains, trams, walking and cycling.
The bike libraries allow people to borrow vehicles for free or for a small charge that goes towards maintenance. 15 bike libraries have already been created around the city, with another 13 to come over the next few months. To date, 26 community organizations – such as primary schools and healthcare providers – have received grants of up to 5,000 GBP to set up a bike library. Funding has also been made available for the organizations to access training to help with the maintenance of the bikes.
Dame Sarah Storey, Active Travel Commissioner for the city, said, “Bike libraries are an essential part of the GM strategy and enable more people to access cycling in a way and at a time that is right for them. Many people using the libraries may have cycled before but need the flexibility of borrowing a bike to help them rebuild their confidence and try new routes. They are also a good way of working out what sort of bike they may need. Along with the cycle hire scheme, which aims to support shorter journeys by bike in specific parts of Manchester, Salford and Trafford, bike library loans are reaching further afield and enabling people to explore their local area at their leisure.”