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Old 12-02-08, 03:34 PM   #1
ogbigbird
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what ever happened to public bikes?

i remember back in the day that there were some cities out there, like portland oregon that had "public bikes". i only heard about this second hand, but i guess they had a fleet of older bicycles, i think painted yellow or some other theft deterent color to discourage theft. they would be at certain racks throughtout the city and one would get on and use as he or she seed fit and drop it off at another location for the next citizen to use. anyone remember that or anything like that or actually has something like that where you live?

if not, that would be a great idea for older bikes that nobody would really want. gather a city wide fleet of older but maintained bicycles that some department of the city or a privet company would control. they can be fixed up, loaded with a low level lowjack device in the frame to keep track of them if missing for too long or if the wandered outside a certain jourisdiction. that would be a great idea to use older bikes. people can get from here and there, leaving the bikes for the next person. if the city was by a bike school, their learning mechanics could be in charge of maintaining the fleet for credit in school, or maintnence done by citizens needing to serve community service and that are handy with a wrench.

anyways, the idea is cool or would be cool. anyone out there think so or allready have this where they live?
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Old 12-02-08, 03:50 PM   #2
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http://montreal.about.com/od/getting...blic_bikes.htm
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Old 12-02-08, 06:21 PM   #3
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Any program like that I've ever seen, the bikes wind up getting trashed and/or stolen.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tragedy_of_the_commons
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Old 12-02-08, 06:54 PM   #4
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Tulsa OK has a couple of different programs.

1. Tulsa Townies- A fleet of pink colored cruisers (don't know make/model) paid for by one of the local hospitals to help fight heart disease. Four 'stations' located along the Tulsa Rivertrail system. Swipe your credit card, and the bike is yours for 24 hrs. Can be returned at any of the different locations.

2. Rack-n-Roll. Tulsa Transit's free bike rental service. You apply, and if approved, you can have your choice of some truly fugly Giant Simples to choose from. Also has a 24 hr limit and has to be picked/dropped off at the main bus station downtown, and is first come, first served.
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Old 12-02-08, 07:11 PM   #5
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I think St. Micheals, Maryland has such a program. Of course St. Micheals lacks the animals that live in a lot of large cities that would steal or trash the bikes.
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Old 12-03-08, 11:07 AM   #6
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This gets me to wonder. Do bikes every get stolen in China? You would figure that there are more bikes there than anywhere else and biking is more of a necessity than a sport or recreational past time like in the Western world.

That said, the China bikes would seem to me to be less sporty, less bling, or even no bling.
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Old 12-03-08, 01:36 PM   #7
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Austin's Yellow Bike Project is still going on, but of course the tragedy of the commons issue mentioned earlier is still going on too, and the bikes they put out tend to not last too long, so they're not too easy to find, but they're out there.
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Old 12-03-08, 01:49 PM   #8
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World City Bike Forum

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Originally Posted by ogbigbird View Post
..."public bikes"... anyone out there think so or allready have this where they live?
Folks who are interested in public bike systems may want to check out the World City Bike Forum (a Yahoo! Group).
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Old 12-03-08, 04:05 PM   #9
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i knew this existed out there somewhere. if we put an inexpenssive low jack in the frame tube that couldn't be pulled out easily, when a bike goes hinkey, it could be tracked down. too bad some "special" people have to ruin it for th erest of us.
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Old 12-03-08, 10:07 PM   #10
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Any program like that I've ever seen, the bikes wind up getting trashed and/or stolen.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tragedy_of_the_commons
That's what happened here in Madison. You can still see the old red beater bikes around town, but people essentially "stole" them by locking them up wherever they go.

Which is stupid, because you can buy a functional bicycle for pennies in this town. The others ended up destroyed, I'd assume.
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Old 12-04-08, 04:10 PM   #11
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There is a bike-sharing program alive and well here in my current hometown of Putney, VT.

http://www.woj.com.au/2007/08/28/us-...imate-message/
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Old 12-04-08, 04:47 PM   #12
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It seems like it would be a good idea at first, but how long do utopian ideas last when put into practice.
Wouldn't most people treat public bikes with the same respect as they would public restrooms?
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Old 12-04-08, 10:12 PM   #13
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It seems like it would be a good idea at first, but how long do utopian ideas last when put into practice.
Wouldn't most people treat public bikes with the same respect as they would public restrooms?
Possibly. However, the 2 programs in Tulsa requires that you follow the rules. Basically like checking out a book from the library. There is an expectation that you return the bike in similar condition as you received it, return on time, or pay the price. The Tulsa Townies' will charge $100 to the credit card associated w/the free rental if the bike is not returned within the 24 hr period.
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Old 12-04-08, 11:31 PM   #14
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what ever happened to public bikes?

They all got stolen or trashed.
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Old 12-05-08, 02:18 PM   #15
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The Tulsa Townies' will charge $100 to the credit card associated w/the free rental if the bike is not returned within the 24 hr period.
It seems the people that would benifit the greatest from public bike programs would most likely not have a credit card... or money.
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Old 12-05-08, 03:31 PM   #16
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what ever happened to public bikes?

They all got stolen or trashed.
Our program is proving to be a huge success in spite of the fact that some bikes have been stolen and vandalized. In its little more than eighteen months of existence, over 2.3 million rides have been taken on the public bikes.

Physically separated bike paths plus a bike share program have gotten thousands of people out of their cars and onto bikes.
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Old 12-05-08, 04:01 PM   #17
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what will work are decent bike paths everywhere. not communal bikes


I been around. in amsterdam there are a million bikes and I never saw a -common- bike,
those would get trashed or tossed into a canal. there are rental bikes where one person
takes ownership and returns the bike...but no such thing a 'yellow bikes' so to speak


only numerous bike paths and numerous bike lockups/bike rental spaces would really
help, imho
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Old 12-05-08, 04:39 PM   #18
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what will work are decent bike paths everywhere. not communal bikes


I been around. in amsterdam there are a million bikes and I never saw a -common- bike,
those would get trashed or tossed into a canal. there are rental bikes where one person
takes ownership and returns the bike...but no such thing a 'yellow bikes' so to speak


only numerous bike paths and numerous bike lockups/bike rental spaces would really
help, imho
It was the society, it had nothing to do with bike paths. I hate to say it but the U.S. has segment of society that are no better than wild animals. They have no respect for anyone or anything. It's a shame that those few can ruin it for the rest of us.
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Old 12-05-08, 06:56 PM   #19
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it was the society, it had nothing to do with bike paths. I hate to say it but the u.s. Has segment of society that are no better than wild animals. They have no respect for anyone or anything. It's a shame that those few can ruin it for the rest of us.
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Old 12-05-08, 10:44 PM   #20
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It seems the people that would benifit the greatest from public bike programs would most likely not have a credit card... or money.
True, that particular program is sponsored by a local hospital's cardiac unit. About the only people you actually use them are mall walkers who wants to 'cross train', or mothers who bring their little kids w/x-mart bikes.

But there is another program in town that is sponsored by one of the local cycling clubs. It's a co-op with a twist. Only people who are referred by social service agencies (Salvation Army, United Way, some of the bigger churches) are allowed to *shop* at the co-op.
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Old 12-06-08, 08:39 AM   #21
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It seems the people that would benifit the greatest from public bike programs would most likely not have a credit card... or money.
people would steal or trash the bikes, then. i think you have to draw the line somewhere.

perhaps instead of using a credit card you could buy a pass for 100$, and that pass never expires. the pass would act like an id card too. you could trade in the pass back for the money whenever you want, though. Of course, if you did that, you'd lose your riding privileges. covers the chance someone would steal a bike (pass voided if the bike isn't returned, pass voided if the bike is damaged, etc). the thief might walk away with a 150$ bike that he "stole" for 100$, but the odds of everyone doing that are low, so thieves don't harm the system as much.

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Old 12-06-08, 08:47 AM   #22
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I knew a guy, John "Krusty Wheel" Faulk, in Berkeley who was in the "Pink Bike" program using the Urban Ore drop offs and dump saves. You really need someone to maintain bikes in that situation or it can become a liability.
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Old 12-06-08, 08:53 AM   #23
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people would steal or trash the bikes, then. i think you have to draw the line somewhere.

perhaps instead of using a credit card you could buy a pass for 100$, and that pass never expires. the pass would act like an id card too. you could trade in the pass back for the money whenever you want, though. Of course, if you did that, you'd lose your riding privileges. covers the chance someone would steal a bike (pass voided if the bike isn't returned, pass voided if the bike is damaged, etc). the thief might walk away with a 150$ bike that he "stole" for 100$, but the odds of everyone doing that are low, so thieves don't harm the system as much.
Pittsburgh has a similar program along one of their trails. They have bike sheds set up, You need a card to access them. I really don't know exactly how the program works or how well it works. I do know I have seen only one stack of sheds making the program a bit inconvienent.
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Old 12-06-08, 09:14 AM   #24
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Borrow one of these bikes , go get a can of cheap spray paint, change color, then the rider thinks it is HIS bike because he SPENT money on it.
I can never see the program working.
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Old 12-06-08, 10:04 AM   #25
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you'd need more than one storage facility... and i can see this being a problem is downtown areas where land is at a premium.

i'm sure some people would do that - the theory banks on the "general good behaviour" of the population. if you think that could be a serious concern, then perhaps simple tracking devices stuck in the bike? the 100$ would go towards theft prevention + the maintenance of the bike. if the bike is stolen or abused, the 100$ pass is voided and then the people running the show can go scoop up what's left of the bike.

agreed, they would lose money, but i doubt every person signed up would abuse the bikes - afterall they need it to get around. the program wouldn't be meant to turn a profit - it would be a public transportation service funded by someone who is in the business of spending money (like the government).
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