On my lazy days where I would rather do 2 miles to the bus stop as oppose to 22 miles of riding between work and back I use my folding bicycle.
Every single time I fold that thing up and take it on the bus with me I get numerous questions and compliments ranging from how well it works for me to how much such a thing costs to where a person can get one (and one young guy asking if I can bunnyhop a curb with it...which I can't). It would seem that the bus riders are well aware that gas isn't going to be cheap anymore and are looking for viable alternatives. I have been somewhat confused by the number of people who have never even seen a folding bicycle before.
While I have seen the number of commuters on regular bikes (mountain and road) steadily increase over the past few months, I have seen the average number of bus riders on the routes I take nearly double in the same period of time (the average number has tripled along some areas).
Are these the next semi- bicycle commuters?
Is there an untapped market that the folding bicycle companies are allowing fall through the cracks? It seems that their ads are geared towards selling to people who already know such a bike even exists (like the well-informed members of BF). All it would take is an ad on the side of the bus showing someone with a folding bike getting on the bus with the slogan of "Get There Faster"...
PS- If someone uses my idea you agree to donate $500 to Bike Forums and $1000 to a charity of my choice.