Bike sharing is gaining speed.
These days, many cities offer bike sharing, says Jon Lal, founder of the money-saving site BeFrugal. "It's a great way to get around town and is surprisingly glitch-free," Lal says.
Not all bike sharing is free, though. Take Capital Bikeshare in the Washington, D.C., metro area, which has more than 1,800 bicycles at more than 200 bike stations. After plunking down $7 for a daily membership fee, a 90-minute trip costs an extra $4.50. And, similarly, at Denver B-cycle, you pay a membership fee based on the length of time you plan to use the bike, plus a usage fee.
Some smaller cities do offer free bike-sharing programs. At Bike New London in Connecticut, residents can use bikes for free. Many of the bicycles are donated, and volunteers help to prepare bicycles for service. A $10 deposit is required, but the deposit is returned when the bike is returned.