Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Bike Sharing = Insanity

The yahoos over at Urban Cincy go off on Bike Sharing like they just found Bettie Page. They seem to go for any weird bicycle jimcrackery. At some point it comes down to pedaling from point A to point B, tho.
The proposed Cincinnati bike share program is expected to cost $1.2M to get going & $400,000/year to run. It uses a system of stations with bikes nobody wants to ride locked in high tech bike racks and card readers to determine if you are a subscriber or just snaging a bike for half an hour.
It appears to service people who, out of the blue, decide they need to ride from one station to the next. So, what if I neither live near a station nor want to go anywhere near a station? The rationale is that
usage of shared bikes is intended for one-way rentals
Seriously? You're never going home? 99% of all trips are round trips.
So, this scheme relies on paying people to constantly redistribute the bikes.
You may or may not be able to get a bike, so, do you leave for your destination an hour before you need to be there or twenty minutes? You won't know til you walk over to the station to see what's available.
A one year membership/subscription to ride a crappy bike that may or may not be available & may or may not get you where you want to go & may or may not be available to get you home again will be around $80. If this is as serious you are about riding - BUY A CHEAP BIKE!!! It's gonna be about the same price.
Bike rental services can rent by the hour or week or anywhere in between. They can offer crappy bikes or nicer bikes & fit you. They can work with hotels & deliver & pick up the bikes and you can just have the hotel valet store your bike. They could probably work something out with the train depot.
Investing almost $2M to service people who randomly spaz out & need a bike to go from one bike rack to another is just crazy.

Fishwarp regurgitates UrbanCincy story here


5chw4r7z said...

Be careful, "The bike lobby is an all-powerful enterprise,"


Rabinowitz spends five minutes explaining how New York has never known a menace as great as a bike share program.
Hide the kids Cincinnatians, the evil bikes are on their way.

Quimbob said...

A commenter at the 'Warp said the bikes would be a hazard downtown.

Alex V said...

Bikes would only "be a hazard" downtown until the City of Cincinnati develops better lane-sharing infrastructure for cyclists.

Randy Simes said...

We just reported on the matter. We've been critical of area bicycle projects as well, and have taken heart for it from the all-powerful enterprise Bob mentioned.

In fact, we'll cover the implementation and roll out of Cincinnati's bike share as it progresses and we'll compare it with the best practices from around the world.

VisuaLingual said...

Mark, can't you imagine a series of one-way trips, maybe punctuated by extended walking and/or busing and/or streetcar use? Bike-sharing systems do seem to work although, if you live and are even a casual rider, you may be better off with a cheap bike, like you said.

I was just in Denver and NYC, both of which have similar set-ups. IN NYC, at least, it's a tourist draw, and my one criticism is that they often have no idea where they are or how to safely ride in the traffic. But, the bikes were getting used, even in January.

Anonymous said...

I'd comment on the blog entry, except couldn't get past the first few sentences ridden with immature name-calling and misspellings. Not a great way to get a point across.

Quimbob said...

Maya, what you describe can be easily done without a bike share. As for the tourists, the scenario I described with hotel dropoff & pickup is already in places, like New Orleans that are more touristy.
I doubt if anybody knows how to ride in NYC with all the goofy stuff that transportation chick is doing to take bikes out of the natural traffic flow.
I do not intnd to run for office on a "kill the bikeshare" platform, tho, so, not to worry.

Quimbob said...

hey, Anonymous Coward, I tease the UrbanCincy crew because I respect them.
After Blogging Isn't Cool, UrbanCincy & Building Cincinnati are probably the best sites in Cincinnati for local goings on. If they had my global status (and $$), I could probably get 'em into Bohemian Grove with me.
It's really pathetic that a guy stationed halfway around the world knows more about what's going on in Porkopolis than probably 75% of the locals.

ekalb said...

I have used the bike shares in Washington DC and Chicago. They were fantastic methods to get around the city quickly. Most cases, it was a one way path since I was making multiple stops. While in Chicago I was staying at a friends place, I rode a bike share for free to the closest station to a grocery. Then took the train back since everything would not fit in the bike basket. On tours, it was a perfect way to see parts of the city where I would unlikely walk. A phone app tells you if any bikes are available at a station, or if a station is full. So your not wasting time walking/biking to a station. I'm not a fan of spending money on this project in Cincinnati over many others we currently we have in town. But I think the program itself is a good one.