There are a lot of ways to calculate the benefit of bike-sharing programs. For Paris' Velib bike-sharing program one could look at the number of Parisians using it, improvements to traffic congestion, improvements to the air quality, health benefits of the users, and so on. Adam Stein of TerraPass, a carbon offsetting company, crunched some numbers based on these stats from a NYC article on the Paris Velib program and came up with an estimate of the amount of greenhouse gases avoided.
Bixi the Montreal bikesharing system which will be launching Spring 2009, will be coming to Toronto to convince us all that Montreal knows what they are doing. Can Toronto imitate Montreal which is imitating Paris? I'm sure we can swallow our pride and do it. We did it with Nuit Blanche after all!