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Old 01-15-17, 06:37 AM   #26
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Seattle?s Mayor Murray kills city-run bike-share program | The Seattle Times

Apparently the city is willing to work with a private firm, but will no longer sponsor the city run bike share program.
Can't the City Council override(more like run over, instead of override) the mayor?
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Old 01-15-17, 06:49 AM   #27
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Can't the City Council override(more like run over, instead of override) the mayor?
One might think so, but then you have that many more people that have to be positively like minded about cycling.
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Old 01-15-17, 10:47 AM   #28
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Pronto literally faced an uphill challenge.

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Old 01-15-17, 10:54 AM   #29
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so where is the Seattle tech hipster sponsorship money?

spending it on Football Tickets is over.
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Old 01-15-17, 07:44 PM   #30
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RIP Seattle B/S
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Old 01-15-17, 08:31 PM   #31
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Try Australia and NZ.
The only 2 countries in the world to have a Mandatory Helmet Law nationally everywhere except on bike paths in Darwin.
Introduced 30+ years ago and despite the fact that the experiment has not improved cyclist safety or that no other country has followed our lead, our Govt clings to it and has brainwashed many people into believing that you will spontaneously die if you every get on a bicycle without a helmet on.
A truly successful political plan for limiting the number of cyclist using the roadways.
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Old 01-15-17, 08:35 PM   #32
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A truly successful political plan for limiting the number of cyclist using the roadways.
Correct.
Putting the onus and cost for safety back onto cyclists and saving infrastructure money as a result.
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Old 01-15-17, 09:12 PM   #33
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Correct.
Putting the onus and cost for safety back onto cyclists and saving infrastructure money as a result.
It's not a question of transferring cost. It's about the message that's sent.

Mandatory helmet laws imply that bicycling is inherently dangerous, and thereby discourage countless people from trying it. Now many mothers out there use the existence of helmet laws to reinforce their impression that this is something that can kill or injure their loved ones, and add bicycling to the list of things they don't want their children doing.
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Old 01-15-17, 10:26 PM   #34
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a Mandatory Helmet Law nationally everywhere except on bike paths in Darwin
Maybe it's on purpose, to imply that riding without a helmet makes one a candidate for Darwin Award.
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Old 01-16-17, 12:58 AM   #35
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I've been to Seattle three or four times and each visit reminds me why we did not make it our home. We are a car free couple and bicycle everywhere. We consider ourselves fit but... as a place to enjoy cycling... I can think of better sites. I haven't seen the BikeShare system that utilizes bikes weighing less than 50lbs. Did anyone seriously think things through up there? I've been to San Francisco once, and I'm not certain that Seattle's hills aren't steeper. I'm sure people ride bikes in both places, but... I don't know... creesh... you've got to really, really, want to do it in either one... maybe if they paid people to ride those garish, overweight, BSO's up those hills instead of the other way around they would still be a going concern, albeit one with a negative cash flow.

I've said before that I simply do not understand the appeal of Bike Share's. Portland has rolled out their fleet in a big way, and each station holds about 12 bikes and I've lost count of how many stations I've seen but there are never more than two or three bikes missing! As I understand it they are deliberately made ugly, heavy and hard to pedal to discourage theft... ... come on, let's get a pool going. I predict that Portland's system throws in the towel before NYC's. Who wants some of this action?

I mean, seriously, car rental is one thing... you wrap your car around a telephone pole, you need a loaner till the bodyshop straightens it out again. If a bike is important to you, you already own one! If you wrap it around a telephone pole you ride the bus until you can buy another! What am I missing? I bought for $30 a sweet Schwinn World Tourist that flat out stomps anything offered by either the NYC or PDX share systems. Its mine, I can ride it whenever I want. I don't have to walk six blocks first! I don't have to walk home afterwards.

Remember computer BBS? They were the first incarnation of the Internet, and used the phone system to connect users to database networks and other users. Rates were as much as $9:00/hr. Computer and BBS usage tanked and hundreds of investors lost their shirts because of their greed. Two decades later the Internet was rolled out and this time they learned their lesson. The world has never been the same. First Portland's, then New York's bike share systems will crash and burn because they offer too little, to too few, and want too much for the experience. Enterprise and other car rentals agencies would also crash (ha!) if they only offered trashy little econoboxes, but for nothing more than a $250 hold on your credit card you can be handed the keys to a 2017 Escalade SUV, and they come to your house and pick you up and take you to the car lot before, and after! Rates start at $9:00/hr. Hello...
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Old 01-16-17, 01:23 AM   #36
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It's not a question of transferring cost. It's about the message that's sent.

Mandatory helmet laws imply that bicycling is inherently dangerous, and thereby discourage countless people from trying it. Now many mothers out there use the existence of helmet laws to reinforce their impression that this is something that can kill or injure their loved ones, and add bicycling to the list of things they don't want their children doing.
You wont get any argument from me on any of that.
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Old 01-16-17, 05:58 AM   #37
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<snip>

I mean, seriously, car rental is one thing... you wrap your car around a telephone pole, you need a loaner till the bodyshop straightens it out again. If a bike is important to you, you already own one! If you wrap it around a telephone pole you ride the bus until you can buy another! What am I missing? I bought for $30 a sweet Schwinn World Tourist that flat out stomps anything offered by either the NYC or PDX share systems. Its mine, I can ride it whenever I want. I don't have to walk six blocks first! I don't have to walk home afterwards.

<snip>
While I agree with the highlighted statement, what about the businessman / businesswoman who is also an avid cyclist but can't pack up their bike and take it with them on their business trip? A bike share BSO can fill a need if they want to get out and do a ride and/or some exploring.

I worked at a hotel in downtown Chicago about 18 months ago, and there was a Divvy station just about 25 feet from our main front door. I couldn't tell you how many business travelers expressed joy that a station was that close to the hotel, but there were many. Of course, sometimes finding an available bike in the station could be difficult, but thankfully there were other stations close by as well.




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Old 01-16-17, 06:46 AM   #38
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Seoul, London, Frankfurt, San Francisco, and Seattle.
Vancouver, Phoenix, and New York.

If anyone actually wants to do a postmortem on Pronto, this thread is apparently not the place for thinking.

Now back to our regularly scheduled how much P&R can one person put into a thread before it is banished to P&R, and how much anti-helmet stuff can people put into a thread before it gets banished to the everlasting gobstopper thread.

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Old 01-16-17, 08:14 AM   #39
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...they [Seattle Bike Share] would still be a going concern, albeit one with a negative cash flow.
Negative cash flow is a given unless the customers are willing to pay the costs of the operation. All the Bike Share Programs, AFAIK, have negative cash flow, some more than others, and all survive on taxpayer subsidies and/or corporate sponsorship which may disappear in a flash with a corporate change of mind.

IOW none are a "going concern."

Suggestions that Seattle or any other large city can privatize proven money losing operations without guaranteed subsidies or an indication that customers would pay much higher fees is only wishful thinking.

Perhaps Seattle decision makers/taxpayers do not feel that bike share operations deserve the same priority for taxpayer support as local/out-of-town bicycling enthusiasts.
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Old 01-16-17, 08:49 AM   #40
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Stadium

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Old 01-16-17, 09:38 AM   #41
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I've ridden in Seattle a lot and have to wonder what part of that hilly, heavily trafficked city the kind of occasional cyclist who is attracted to bikeshare would feel comfortable riding in? The bikes weigh about 45 lbs, too--as much as my tandem with a full saddlebag. Helmet law might have had a little to do with it, but I think terrain and traffic were working against it from day 1.
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Old 01-16-17, 10:10 AM   #42
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I've ridden in Seattle a lot and have to wonder what part of that hilly, heavily trafficked city the kind of occasional cyclist who is attracted to bikeshare would feel comfortable riding in? The bikes weigh about 45 lbs, too--as much as my tandem with a full saddlebag. Helmet law might have had a little to do with it, but I think terrain and traffic were working against it from day 1.
Many people who ride bikeshares are *NOT* "occasional cyclists." They are often *COMMUTERS* who commute by multiple modes, and use the bikeshare to close first or last segment.

An example, one friend rides their bike to a transit station, locks their bike in a secure cage there, takes the train, then takes a bikeshare the last segment.

Pronto bikes weigh 36 pounds, not 45 pounds. They are also seven speed. Frankly, for me, climbing the hills wasn't much of an issue. Running out of top gear even on a moderate down grade was - and that's common on lots of bikeshares.

That said, it's rather human to prefer to ride a bike DOWN a hill to climbing UP a hill on a bike. Lots of people rode down and walked up, or rode down UBERed up.

The empty bike docks at the top of hills and the filled bike docks at the base of hills was the uphill challenge faced by Pronto.

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Old 01-16-17, 11:53 AM   #43
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Many people who ride bikeshares are *NOT* "occasional cyclists." They are often *COMMUTERS* who commute by multiple modes, and use the bikeshare to close first or last segment.
Probably true, BUT how many/what percentage of commuters fit that description? Apparently not very many, especially on a daily, all season basis, and certainly not enough to make bike share programs "going concerns" anywhere.
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Old 01-16-17, 12:15 PM   #44
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Probably true, BUT how many/what percentage of commuters fit that description? Apparently not very many, especially on a daily, all season basis, and certainly not enough to make bike share programs "going concerns" anywhere.
I agree that bike sharing isn't suited for commuters in most cities. Not because of lack of numbers, but because of travel patterns. Most of our cities are laid out with commercial central cores and surrounding residential areas. So all commuters are heading in in the morning, and out in the evening. That makes our transit vehicles accumulate at either end, and cuts capacity by half.

Bike sharing works where there are decent numbers taking short randomized trips all day, especially across the grain of established transit routes. It fills the same role that walking and taxis (including Uber) take, but is optimal when the distance longish for walking and short for cabs (or when traffic makes cabs too slow).

If commuters are going to use it, you need a city where commercial and residential areas are mixed pretty homogeneously, to keep usage randomized.

For any bikeshare plan to work, it has o be extremely simple and convenient for users, because that's the only selling point. There has to be a large and dense network of docking stations with overcapacity, so people are assured that they can easily dock the bike near their destination.

As such, bike share isn't for every city, and shouldn't be broadly categorized as either a solution or waste of resources. It will make sense in some places and not in others, which makes it like just about everything else. It'll succeed when it's the answer to the simple question "what's the fastest way to get there?", because that's what important to busy people.

BTW - I suspect that as the concept matures, we'll find that bikeshare will move to e-bikes, which will shorten transit times increasing the user convenience factor. But this will run into political barriers, so don't expect it to happen tomorrow.
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Old 01-16-17, 12:19 PM   #45
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Its for the tourists , of course .. Cities can small towns LBS has rentals.
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Old 01-16-17, 01:52 PM   #46
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The only places I've seen a bike share program seem to work are where there are tourist attractions jut a bit far apart to walk, but on near level ground... such as the beach areas of so Cal, or the microbrew area of San Diego, or the areas so dense that cycling just makes sense, like NYC or SF.

Oulo Finland did not have bike share when I was there, but it was a great cycling area, so I rented from LBS. friends that have been to Denmark have also easily rented bikes.

So there may be demand in limited well laid out places... that are not too automobile centric.
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Old 01-16-17, 01:59 PM   #47
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The only places I've seen a bike share program seem to work are where there are tourist attractions jut a bit far apart to walk, but on near level ground... such as the beach areas of so Cal, or the microbrew area of San Diego, or the areas so dense that cycling just makes sense, like NYC or SF.

Oulo Finland did not have bike share when I was there, but it was a great cycling area, so I rented from LBS. friends that have been to Denmark have also easily rented bikes.

So there may be demand in limited well laid out places... that are not too automobile centric.
Absolutely agree on the tourism front (which is why it doesn't work in Brisbane).
Plus it need a network of safe infrastructure.
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Old 01-16-17, 02:29 PM   #48
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Negative cash flow is a given unless the customers are willing to pay the costs of the operation. All the Bike Share Programs, AFAIK, have negative cash flow, some more than others, and all survive on taxpayer subsidies and/or corporate sponsorship which may disappear in a flash with a corporate change of mind.

IOW none are a "going concern."

Suggestions that Seattle or any other large city can privatize proven money losing operations without guaranteed subsidies or an indication that customers would pay much higher fees is only wishful thinking.

Perhaps Seattle decision makers/taxpayers do not feel that bike share operations deserve the same priority for taxpayer support as local/out-of-town bicycling enthusiasts.
Actually, Montreal's Bixi bike share program posted a surplus for 2016. As well. it started out as a private concern and was taken over by the city a couple of years ago as a non profit public bike share program,sort of blowing away any thought that publicly owned services are less efficient than ones that are private. Also, keep in mind that Montreal has a mountain smack in the center of the city,so there are plenty of hills here. Admittedly we have no mandatory helmet law
The 2016 surplus will be used to provide better services this year

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Old 01-16-17, 04:49 PM   #49
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Also, keep in mind that Montreal has a mountain smack in the center of the city,
A hill maybe, but at 761 feet above sea level to the top, it is no mountain.
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Old 01-16-17, 04:53 PM   #50
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A hill maybe, but at 761 feet above sea level to the top, it is no mountain.
Anything over 100' is a barrier to the bikeshare target market. Cyclists for whom this isn't a barrier are probably riding their own bikes.
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