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  1. #1
    Senior Member donheff's Avatar
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    Bike sharing programs

    The DC DOT is expanding the local bike sharing program. We currently have a measly 10 locations with a handful of bikes. But by fall there will be 100 locations and 1000 bikes (in DC, quite a few more in Arlington, VA). The planned location map shows several in my Capitol Hill neighborhood. I plan to give the program a shot. I like the idea of checking a bike out a block away and then dropping it off at the movies downtown or in Georgetown without needing to worry about a lock. Has anyone used one of these programs? Ours will be a BIXI program, used in Canada and some European cities.
    Every man is, or hopes to be, an Idler. -- Samuel Johnson

  2. #2
    Senior Member MinnMan's Avatar
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    Minneapolis started a program about a month ago, and it seems to be a great success. http://www.niceridemn.org/ There are about 1000 bikes and I see people riding them everywhere. I would definitely consider using the program, except that I usually have my own bike available. Also, the bikes look to be sturdy and utilitarian, but not a lot of fun.

  3. #3
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    There was a scheme in London that operated- But it seems to have disappeared-----Or at least the bikes have.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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  4. #4
    Century bound Phil85207's Avatar
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    Montreal also has the system.
    Chief Executive In Charge Of Diddly Squat.

    Taking on a long hill is like fighting a Gorilla. You don't stop when you are tired, You stop when the Gorilla is tired.

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  5. #5
    Senior Member kr32's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stapfam View Post
    There was a scheme in London that operated- But it seems to have disappeared-----Or at least the bikes have.

    LOL that is what I think would happen here, in DC anyway.

  6. #6
    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Denver started one with the Democratic Convention and is now expanding it.

    I know no more except I see red bikes in stands at various locations.

    http://www.denverbikesharing.org/
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

  7. #7
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    My son was in charge of the maintenance for one of these programs when in college. Campus of 4000 students and he could have worked 24 hours a day to keep the bikes in running . People just don't treat stuff as well as their own stuff. Think shopping carts from Kmart found miles from their home.

  8. #8
    Pedals, Paddles and Poles Daspydyr's Avatar
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    Can someone share a Piner, Fuji, Scott or maybe a Cervelo with me. I can forward my address in a PM? I would like a 60cm. It is more blessed to SHARE than to receive, so you will be doing yourself a favor.

    There is a bank that has moved into the Vegas Valley that has @20 bikes in racks (bright Green) for public use. Their locations are close to the bus routes and the RTC City buses have bike racks. Hopefully this program will be treated with honesty.
    Last edited by Daspydyr; 07-23-10 at 12:15 PM.
    I think its disgusting and terrible how people treat Lance Armstrong, especially after winning 7 Tour de France Titles while on drugs!

    I can't even find my bike when I'm on drugs. -Willie N.

  9. #9
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    Paris has such a program. I believe it's the biggest/best funded in the world. It began with much fan-fare and was well publicised in the NYT. The last article I read there a few months ago indicated that they were thinking of abandoning the program. Too many bikes are stolen/trashed to afford the program. Also, people can't rely on bike availabilty becuse of the poor condition of the bikes. They have many thousands of bikes to maintain.

    It's a lot of money for a fair weather transportation system. The car rules for very good reasons.

    That said, if our local Wal-Mart, restaurants and grocery stores had racks, I'd use the bike in fair weather. I would do it not to be green or save gas: I like to ride.

    Al

  10. #10
    Senior Member nwmtnbkr's Avatar
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    I'm afraid the situation in Paris my be repeated elsewhere since all the models try to cut down costs by using automated kiosks. This just begs for theft and vandalism. The other problem in the Paris program was that the city of Paris agreed to reimburse the company running the program for losses so there was no incentive to build in security. You would think communities would benefit doubly from demanding some human interaction in the process, at least with roving security guards checking out the various kiosks throughout the day--it would create some jobs and possibly reduce the risk of vandalism and theft. I suspect the Paris program will not have too much longer to prove itself, at least in its present iteration. After the publicity about the money the city of Paris had given to the company running the program, I suspect public sentiment is turning sour.

  11. #11
    Senior Member MinnMan's Avatar
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    I too have heard that the program in Paris is not very successful. On the other hand, it apparently is a big success in Vienna. It comes down to how the program is organized, I suppose. In Minneapolis, the bikes are checked out with a credit card and there is some kind of damage/theft deposit "hold" ($250, I think) charged to your card until you return the bike. I think that will cut down on theft/vandalism problems.

    As with all such programs, there will be a learning curve as to how to run a successful system and it will work better in some places than others.

  12. #12
    Senior Member MinnMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alcanoe View Post
    The car rules for very good reasons.


    Al
    I sincerely hope not! With the right kind of urban planning, the need for cars in cities can and should be reduced drastically.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by MinnMan View Post
    I sincerely hope not! With the right kind of urban planning, the need for cars in cities can and should be reduced drastically.


    Dream on except in limited section of large urban areas. If the auto traffic has already come to a crawl, then the options are more desirable. But if the traffic moves, they have to bribe folks to use mass transit. The transit system lose money big time where the auto is only partially still viable.

    I've gone around Euroland with their transit systems are very time consuming compared to the auto. Then too, they have compact countries, there's no parking even when you have a car and gas is severely taxed. Their over-all standard of living is far lower than ours.

    My wife visited an Italian family who had a car. They had a typical tiny apartment and they were lucky to find a parking within a half dozen blocks from the apartment. Mass transit for that high population density is the only option left.

    The DC subway is great to where it goes. I've ridden it extensively. But, extending it is just unaffordable no matter the 'planning".

    I've driven in London during rush hour and ridden many hours in the London subway. I'll take the subway there, but it's crowded too and just as slow as the traffic jam unless you need to go just a few miles.

    NY city is in the process of closing some streets to traffic. The bikers are still not happy as the pedestrians get in the way on the new/wider bike lanes. This is not plannibg, but a reaction to gridlock. It's also cheap putting an added cost burden on the traveller and not the city. At least it should improve the quality of life for some.

    Americans like and need their cars and for very good reasons. Try getting around Atlanta with out one. Even those who use MARTA need a car to get to the MARTA parking lot to take the train downtown. Then you need a taxi when in the downtown area unless where you are going is near the train station. I can beat the train by car and don't need a taxi. Marta is great going to/from the Airport, but you still need the car to do that.

    Al

  14. #14
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    On the Paris/Vienna systems -- possibly a system that relies on bike ownership would be more cost effective. That would require the availability of locking/lockable bike racks everywhere and bike carriers on mass transit vehicles and taxis. It would cost the taxpayers next to nothing compared to the other systems. One can't argue that the cost of a bike would be too prohibitive given the transportation costs in dense urban areas.

    In the Panama City, Florida area we have a fledgling bus system. It's terribly inefficient/slow, but all the buses have bike racks. Unfortunately, you can't ride anywhere if you need to lock-up your bike. I rode to the dentist once knowing that at my appointment time the waiting room would be empty. I figured they would let me leave it there. It was full! There were some smirks as I walked in pushing the bike.

    The office staff bailed me out and let me keep it in their tiny office. I don't ride there anymore.


    Al

  15. #15
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Bike security is one of the main problems that will stop people using their own bikes within cities and Towns. I know I would use my bike for smaller shopping trips into my local town if there was a system for locking bikes up. Carrying a "Secure" lock with me on the bike is not viable as my Lock and hawer is bulky and weighs 7 lbs. Obviously I would use a Hack Bike but I would not even want that stolen.

    But in London there are Bike Secure stores. Never seen one but apparantly for a nominal charge you can drop your bike at a Warehouse and leave secure. Other cities in Europe have a similar system and this works.

    The reason the London Free Bike system failed was that the bikes were available for use- and to steal. It just got too costly to keep enough bikes available.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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  16. #16
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    Seems at least here stores etc are not bike friendly. No available racks even if you wanted to bring your own lock and bike. The local Movie house has 16 screens and not one bike rack.

  17. #17
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Since this thread went dead- A "New" bike scheme has started in London.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/we...ital-idea.html

    6,000 bikes available for Hire at certain Docking stations. Can see this costing the sponsor a fortune.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


    Spike Milligan

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