We've been watching bike sharing systems spring up in cities all over the world, from Paris to Denver to Montreal to Dublin. But the Metroradruhr, launched in Germany this summer, is unique among those we've covered: It is going to serve ten cities in Germany's metropolitan Ruhr district.
Started on June 18th in Dortmund, Germany the system has now reached five of the cities. Bikes are now, or soon will be, available in Bochum, Bottrop, Dortmund, Duisburg, Essen, Gelsenkirchen, Hamm, Herne, Mülheim an der Ruhr and Oberhausen. This is not just a series of suburban satellite additions to a larger city system, but a single system connecting nearby cities together.\n
The orange icons in the map below indicate places where the system is already running.
The Metroradruhr uses the neXtbike system, which is like a straight bike rental service: You pay by the hour instead of paying a longer-term subscription fee.
It will be interesting to see how this system is used. There's also the Rhine-Ruhr S-Bahn train system in the area. It it is easy to take bikes on those S-Bahn trains, as it is elsewhere in Germany, this could open up a very convenient and clean multi-modal transportation system for an entire region.