Innovation That Matters

Bicycle 'library' helps patrons find a two-wheeled match

Mobility & Transport

Bicycle “borrowing” is nothing new, a point proven by a quick glance at all the urban bike sharing programs we’ve covered in the past years. What’s interesting about London’s Bicycle Library, however, is that it aims not just to facilitate sharing but to help users find the right two-wheeled vehicle to keep for good. Situated in a converted double-decker bus with a library and gallery upstairs and showroom below, the Bicycle Library gives Londoners a way to test out a variety of bicycles, each designed to meet the needs of everyday city life. An assortment of files and books are on hand to provide assistance and information, along with the advice of a resident “librarian”. Patrons can try out the Bicycle Library’s vehicles on a dedicated, covered test track, rain or shine. Once they find a promising candidate, they can take that bike home for a few days to test it out. If it works out well, they can buy it direct from the manufacturer and have it delivered to their door. It’s one thing to encourage cycling as a means of transportation, but there’s still plenty more room for those willing to help consumers find the right one for them. A concept to emulate in an urban area near you? (Related: Bike-sharing comes to AsiaBixi brings urban bike-sharing to North America.) Spotted by: Karta Healy



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