Bike sharing is taking the entire world by storm. Though the automobile alternative is relatively new to the United States, its history in several European countries dates back more than ten years. The programs work with rental bicycles that are maintained at rental stations throughout the city. Riders swipe a credit card to release the bikes from their locks. They are then charged an hourly rate for the bikes and they can return them to whichever rental station is closest to their destination. Some companies offer monthly subscriptions.
According to a report by Oregon Public Radio (OPR), as bike sharing extends into new cities, the rate of brain related injuries increases. American and Canadian researchers collaborated on a study to review the number of traumatic brain injuries in jurisdictions with bike sharing programs. They analyzed the number of emergency room head injury visits before and after the implementation of bike sharing programs. The study specifically looked at the cities of Washington DC, Minneapolis, Boston, Miami Beach and Montreal. Researchers reportedly documented a 14% increase in brain injury ER visits after bike sharing programs began.