Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Advocacy & Safety
Reload this Page >

Coin-operated cars would be an eye-opener

Notices
Advocacy & Safety Cyclists should expect and demand safe accommodation on every public road, just as do all other users. Discuss your bicycle advocacy and safety concerns here.

Coin-operated cars would be an eye-opener

Old 11-10-09, 02:21 PM
  #1  
mechBgon
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
mechBgon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 6,957
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 5 Times in 5 Posts
Coin-operated cars would be an eye-opener

Once in a while I imagine what it would be like if cars were like coin-fed pay phones. The car's free, but to make it go anywhere... yeah

"Slow down, dear, I can't put the quarters in fast enough! I *told* you we should've gotten the EX model, it takes $5 bills! "

But seriously, isn't it supposed to average out to about 50 cents per mile for a U.S. driver nowdays?
mechBgon is offline  
Old 11-10-09, 02:58 PM
  #2  
sauerwald
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: San Jose, CA
Posts: 1,840

Bikes: Bianchi San Remo - set up as a utility bike, Peter Mooney Road bike, Peter Mooney commute bike,Dahon Folder,Schwinn Paramount Tandem

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I once read a proposal for a 'personal rail' system which consisted of covering an urban area with a grid of rail lines, covering the street grid. There were then 'stations' on each block which consisted of a vending machine into which you would select your destination (any other station), and the machine would collect your fare. A 4 passenger rail car would be dispatched to your station, pick you up and deliver you to your final destination. The real key to making the system work was in a control system which would route traffic efficiently. From an overall system standpoint, this would make a lot of sense - you wouldn't need to invest in a personal automobile, the overall efficiency goes up, and traffic congestion should be much less. 'Parking' can be much more efficient with empty cars being moved out of the way, and then repositioned according to need. Without massive parking lots, the urban environment can become much more compact, making it more conducive to walking or biking. It also makes the individual have to pay for each individual trip, and my guess is that mode share would switch to bicycles or walking for shorter trips, where with a private automobile, there are people who will drive 1/4 mile for an errand.
sauerwald is offline  
Old 11-10-09, 03:17 PM
  #3  
Roughstuff
Punk Rock Lives
 
Roughstuff's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: In a cabin in the adirondacks
Posts: 3,165

Bikes: Fuji touring

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 48 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by mechBgon View Post
Once in a while I imagine what it would be like if cars were like coin-fed pay phones. The car's free, but to make it go anywhere... yeah

"Slow down, dear, I can't put the quarters in fast enough! I *told* you we should've gotten the EX model, it takes $5 bills! "

But seriously, isn't it supposed to average out to about 50 cents per mile for a U.S. driver nowdays?

We have such things already, and they are called TAXIS. They would be MUCH CHEAPER in every location if you didn't (surprise, surprise) have to get a license from the local government (you know, the one that is supposed to be 'enlightened' and should encourage 'mass transit') thus insuring the permit (medallion, in NYC) costs a fortune, a fortune cheerfully passed on to the hapless passengers.

Gypsy cabs are the solution. With a cell phone and a set of wheels, you are in business.


roughstuff
Roughstuff is offline  
Old 11-10-09, 07:41 PM
  #4  
Wogster
Senior Member
 
Wogster's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Toronto (again) Ontario, Canada
Posts: 6,935

Bikes: Norco Bushpilot (out of commission), Raleigh Delta

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by mechBgon View Post
Once in a while I imagine what it would be like if cars were like coin-fed pay phones. The car's free, but to make it go anywhere... yeah

"Slow down, dear, I can't put the quarters in fast enough! I *told* you we should've gotten the EX model, it takes $5 bills! "

But seriously, isn't it supposed to average out to about 50 cents per mile for a U.S. driver nowdays?
Cars are, you spend your money buying a special currency to make one go, it's called gasoline. If you run out of gasoline then your car doesn't go. The problem is that the cost of gasoline is way too low, which is why there are so many cars around these days, if it was say $15 for a gallon, then there would be a lot fewer cars on the road.
Wogster is offline  
Old 11-10-09, 08:16 PM
  #5  
Digital_Cowboy
Senior Member
 
Digital_Cowboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Tampa/St. Pete, Florida
Posts: 9,352

Bikes: Specialized Hardrock Mountain (Stolen); Giant Seek 2 (Stolen); Diamondback Ascent mid 1980 - 1997

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 62 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Originally Posted by sauerwald View Post
I once read a proposal for a 'personal rail' system which consisted of covering an urban area with a grid of rail lines, covering the street grid. There were then 'stations' on each block which consisted of a vending machine into which you would select your destination (any other station), and the machine would collect your fare. A 4 passenger rail car would be dispatched to your station, pick you up and deliver you to your final destination. The real key to making the system work was in a control system which would route traffic efficiently. From an overall system standpoint, this would make a lot of sense - you wouldn't need to invest in a personal automobile, the overall efficiency goes up, and traffic congestion should be much less. 'Parking' can be much more efficient with empty cars being moved out of the way, and then repositioned according to need. Without massive parking lots, the urban environment can become much more compact, making it more conducive to walking or biking. It also makes the individual have to pay for each individual trip, and my guess is that mode share would switch to bicycles or walking for shorter trips, where with a private automobile, there are people who will drive 1/4 mile for an errand.
Would the system dispense a car for a single individual or wait for two or more riders? Hopefully one would also be able to purchase multi-ride/daily. weekly, monthly, yearly.

It would also help if the weekly, monthly, yearly passes "recharged" to extend their life/usefulness.
Digital_Cowboy is offline  
Old 11-10-09, 08:34 PM
  #6  
ItsJustMe
Se˝ior Member
 
ItsJustMe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Michigan
Posts: 13,749

Bikes: Windsor Fens, Giant Seek 0 (2014, Alfine 8 + discs)

Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 446 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 8 Times in 7 Posts
Originally Posted by Wogsterca View Post
Cars are, you spend your money buying a special currency to make one go, it's called gasoline. If you run out of gasoline then your car doesn't go. The problem is that the cost of gasoline is way too low, which is why there are so many cars around these days, if it was say $15 for a gallon, then there would be a lot fewer cars on the road.
Gasoline is not the major expense of running a car for most people. A car costs $20K, to even equal that, you'd have to burn 7300 gallons of gas or so, which at 25 MPG is 182,000 miles. Most cars don't last that long. And that's before figuring in insurance, and if you get "free" parking, that's another externality that's paid for in other ways (like, higher prices in retail places to pay for their parking lot). And that's not even getting into the other costs of operating a vehicle - like paying all the kinds of taxes (NOT just gas tax, by a long shot) that go into building roads, paying police to patrol the roads, etc). If you had to pay for ALL the things that it really cost to drive a car, 50 cents a mile would be a HUGE bargain.
__________________
Work: the 8 hours that separates bike rides.
ItsJustMe is offline  
Old 11-11-09, 07:51 AM
  #7  
mandovoodoo
Violin guitar mandolin
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Friendsville, TN, USA
Posts: 1,171

Bikes: Wilier Thor, Fuji Professional, LeMond Wayzata

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I'm surprised how few people think about it - like my wife. I added up the average repair costs for our old clunker, the gas costs at 15 mpg and the 20,000 miles / year we drove it.

Got rid of my car. Stopped driving my old truck. Finally got her to understand that driving costs something. So we did the cash for clunker trade for a little 35 mpg car. She's driving it less. And I got a motorcycle that gets 40 to 55 mpg and costs almost nothing to insure. Even she can see the cost difference. While we pay on a zero interest loan on the car (the cash is actually there to pay for it - earning interest and getting drawn down by a payment a month), it's still less than the average annual repair costs would be to keep her old car going.

We do tend to wear out cars, which surprises most people. My dead BMW had 300,000 miles on it. Our Explorer had 200,000 plus. My truck has 250,000, and is working perfectly. I have taken vehicles over 400,000.

But try talking to most people about the overall cost in direct (e.g., gas) and indirect (e.g. property) taxes, insurance, maintenance, interest, etc. They don't want to hear about it! For just me, I'd live with a bicycle, a motorcycle, and my truck. All paid for. If I didn't have to carry heavy things (about 500 lbs loaded up this morning) I could do without the truck!
mandovoodoo is offline  
Old 11-11-09, 08:04 AM
  #8  
Artkansas 
Pedaled too far.
 
Artkansas's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: La Petite Roche
Posts: 12,851
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 7 Times in 7 Posts
What's a pay phone???? I think I saw one in a museum once.
__________________
"He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.
Artkansas is offline  
Old 11-11-09, 08:09 AM
  #9  
ItsJustMe
Se˝ior Member
 
ItsJustMe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Michigan
Posts: 13,749

Bikes: Windsor Fens, Giant Seek 0 (2014, Alfine 8 + discs)

Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 446 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 8 Times in 7 Posts
Originally Posted by mandovoodoo View Post
We do tend to wear out cars, which surprises most people. My dead BMW had 300,000 miles on it. Our Explorer had 200,000 plus. My truck has 250,000, and is working perfectly. I have taken vehicles over 400,000.
I intend to take my vehicles to their grave, but since I'm pushing 50 and I only drive my car about 5,000 miles a year (it's got 120K on it now, most put on before I started riding), I'd have to drive it until I was 105 years old. Although, I expect about the time I hit 100 I will probably have to cut back on riding and drive a little more.
__________________
Work: the 8 hours that separates bike rides.
ItsJustMe is offline  
Old 11-11-09, 08:31 AM
  #10  
alicestrong
Pedal pusher...
 
alicestrong's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 7,769

Bikes: I've got a bunch...

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I'm on the fence about selling my car. I don't drive anymore, just hit the three year mark.

I keep thinking I may decide to drive again. And I'm very attached to my car ( a vintage 66 VW Bus).

I sure don't miss the expense and hassle of driving. On the other hand, I don't take as many little out of town trips. I miss doing that...
alicestrong is offline  
Old 11-11-09, 08:34 AM
  #11  
10 Wheels
Galveston County Texas
 
10 Wheels's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: In The Wind
Posts: 32,077

Bikes: 02 GTO, 2011 Magnum

Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1047 Post(s)
Liked 588 Times in 297 Posts
Originally Posted by alicestrong View Post
I'm on the fence about selling my car. I don't drive anymore, just hit the three year mark.

I keep thinking I may decide to drive again. And I'm very attached to my car ( a vintage 66 VW Bus).

I sure don't miss the expense and hassle of driving. On the other hand, I don't take as many little out of town trips. I miss doing that...
How bout a pic of the bus......
Do you ever just drive it around the block?
__________________
Fred "The Real Fred"

10 Wheels is online now  
Old 11-11-09, 09:09 AM
  #12  
Metzinger
Primate
 
Metzinger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: gone
Posts: 2,579

Bikes: Concorde Columbus SL, Rocky Mountain Edge, Sparta stadfiets

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
The OP has an interesting point.
We can now insert a credit card into a gas pump. The fuel flows without us seeing it. The exhaust is invisible. Car payments are drawn unnoticed from bank accounts.
In real terms, there's very little fiscal penalty.
It's easy to imagine there's no cost at all.
Metzinger is offline  
Old 11-11-09, 10:06 AM
  #13  
mechBgon
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
mechBgon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 6,957
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 5 Times in 5 Posts
Speaking for myself, my insurance is $55/month and I only drive it once or twice a month anymore, so the effective cost per trip is on my mind whenever I use it. I've considered dropping the insurance and going car-free until next summer. My lifestyle would accomodate that. If I had to actually feed $55 into the dashboard to go for my monthly drive... yeah, it might be the motivation I need here
mechBgon is offline  
Old 11-11-09, 10:31 AM
  #14  
sauerwald
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: San Jose, CA
Posts: 1,840

Bikes: Bianchi San Remo - set up as a utility bike, Peter Mooney Road bike, Peter Mooney commute bike,Dahon Folder,Schwinn Paramount Tandem

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Digital_Cowboy View Post
Would the system dispense a car for a single individual or wait for two or more riders? Hopefully one would also be able to purchase multi-ride/daily. weekly, monthly, yearly.

It would also help if the weekly, monthly, yearly passes "recharged" to extend their life/usefulness.
The concept was that it would send a car for an individual rider, and would work more like a taxi. The main difference is that all the cars would be under the control of one traffic management system, so traffic could be routed more efficiently.

I am not sure that I like the idea of a monthly, or other 'pass' since it does the same thing as an automobile in that it artificially lowers the marginal cost of making a trip. By making sure that every trip costs something, people are more likely to choose to walk or bike for shorter trips. It would make sense to offer some sort of volume discount so that frequent users do pay less per trip.
sauerwald is offline  
Old 11-11-09, 10:37 AM
  #15  
Dchiefransom
Senior Member
 
Dchiefransom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Newark, CA. San Francisco Bay Area
Posts: 6,251
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 31 Post(s)
Liked 4 Times in 3 Posts
A coin-operated bicycle might be an eye opener also.
Dchiefransom is offline  
Old 11-11-09, 10:46 AM
  #16  
Metzinger
Primate
 
Metzinger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: gone
Posts: 2,579

Bikes: Concorde Columbus SL, Rocky Mountain Edge, Sparta stadfiets

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Originally Posted by Dchiefransom View Post
A coin-operated bicycle might be an eye opener also.
These are coin unlocked like a shopping cart.
Metzinger is offline  
Old 11-11-09, 12:20 PM
  #17  
Dchiefransom
Senior Member
 
Dchiefransom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Newark, CA. San Francisco Bay Area
Posts: 6,251
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 31 Post(s)
Liked 4 Times in 3 Posts
Originally Posted by Metzinger View Post
These are coin unlocked like a shopping cart.
That would be to get it unlocked. Feeding money into it to keep the bottom bracket turning would make people realize that riding a bicycle isn't free.
Dchiefransom is offline  
Old 11-11-09, 04:15 PM
  #18  
Digital_Cowboy
Senior Member
 
Digital_Cowboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Tampa/St. Pete, Florida
Posts: 9,352

Bikes: Specialized Hardrock Mountain (Stolen); Giant Seek 2 (Stolen); Diamondback Ascent mid 1980 - 1997

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 62 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Originally Posted by sauerwald View Post
The concept was that it would send a car for an individual rider, and would work more like a taxi. The main difference is that all the cars would be under the control of one traffic management system, so traffic could be routed more efficiently.
Sounds interesting, what would be max speed be? What would happen if there was a power outage? Would there be a way for the occupants to get out of the car?

I am not sure that I like the idea of a monthly, or other 'pass' since it does the same thing as an automobile in that it artificially lowers the marginal cost of making a trip. By making sure that every trip costs something, people are more likely to choose to walk or bike for shorter trips. It would make sense to offer some sort of volume discount so that frequent users do pay less per trip.
Each trip would still cost something, you'd just be paying in advance for the ability to ride on the system.

Maybe setting up some kind of sliding scale for how much it would cost to use. Such as the shorter the ride the more it would cost to ride, and the reverse would be true, the further you ride the less each ride would cost.

Such a system would also need to have various types of vehicles. As not everyone is going to have the same needs.
Digital_Cowboy is offline  
Old 11-15-09, 06:56 AM
  #19  
J_Rod
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 5
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
www.zipcar.com You're welcome.
J_Rod is offline  
Old 11-15-09, 09:32 PM
  #20  
Cyclaholic
CRIKEY!!!!!!!
 
Cyclaholic's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: all the way down under
Posts: 4,275

Bikes: several

Mentioned: 35 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1374 Post(s)
Liked 377 Times in 211 Posts
Originally Posted by alicestrong View Post
a vintage 66 VW Bus
That would make a great chicken coop.
Cyclaholic is offline  
Old 11-16-09, 02:41 PM
  #21  
irwin7638
Senior Member
 
irwin7638's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Kalamazoo, Mi.
Posts: 3,039

Bikes: Sam, The Hunq and that Old Guy, Soma Buena Vista, Giant Talon 2, Brompton

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 84 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 11 Times in 10 Posts
Originally Posted by J_Rod View Post
www.zipcar.com You're welcome.
Thanks for beating me to it. If I lived in city that had zipcar service, I probably wouldn't own a car.
irwin7638 is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright ę 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.