Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Living Car Free
Reload this Page >

Uber (ride sharing) is cheaper than Pronto (bike sharing)

Notices
Living Car Free Do you live car free or car light? Do you prefer to use alternative transportation (bicycles, walking, other human-powered or public transportation) for everyday activities whenever possible? Discuss your lifestyle here.

Uber (ride sharing) is cheaper than Pronto (bike sharing)

Old 07-07-16, 04:19 PM
  #1  
Seattle Forrest
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Seattle Forrest's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 22,129
Mentioned: 78 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 15225 Post(s)
Liked 6,444 Times in 3,647 Posts
Uber (ride sharing) is cheaper than Pronto (bike sharing)

My bike is in the shop, but should be ready to pick up today. I use my car as rarely as possible because of parking and traffic issues, and the shop is a bit further than I have time to walk to. So my options are:
  1. Public transportation, $2.50. Slow, crowded, unreliable timing, enough of a walk that I should wear street shoes and bring bike shoes.
  2. Uber will cost $5.64, will be fast, and will take me where I need to be, door to door, so I need to carry nothing.
  3. A Pronto bike is $8 and good for 24 hours, but only 30 minutes at a time. Flat pedals and limited Pronto stations mean I need to wear street shoes and bring road shoes.
It's surprising that it costs more to rent a bike for a short trip than it costs to pay somebody to drive me. I face a similar choice occasionally when I'm doing errands, I'll walk to the grocery store and if my bags weigh more than I want to carry home, an Uber is cheaper than a bike. Shame because Pronto bikes have baskets. The economics change if you need to make several short trips, or obviously if you can use your own bike. But I found this interesting and thought other people might, too. We could be doing better.





Seattle Forrest is offline  
Old 07-07-16, 07:48 PM
  #2  
cooker
Prefers Cicero
 
cooker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Toronto
Posts: 12,844

Bikes: 1984 Trek 520; 2007 Bike Friday NWT; misc others

Mentioned: 86 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3913 Post(s)
Liked 81 Times in 68 Posts
It's a different service. You're paying Uber to take you on one trip. You are renting the bike to go wherever you want.
cooker is offline  
Old 07-07-16, 11:19 PM
  #3  
Ekdog
Senior Member
 
Ekdog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Seville, Spain
Posts: 4,403

Bikes: Brompton M6R, mountain bikes, Circe Omnis+ tandem

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 145 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 4 Times in 3 Posts
I was in San Diego recently and noticed that they had a bike-sharing system, too. An hour ride costs $7, while an 8-hour ride is $24! No wonder hardly anybody was using it. If these systems are to be successful, they need to be much cheaper. The one here in Seville only costs about $35 per year and is very popular, as you might imagine. It would be interesting to hear from others about their bike-share systems.

Last edited by Ekdog; 07-07-16 at 11:37 PM. Reason: Added final sentence.
Ekdog is offline  
Old 07-08-16, 10:02 AM
  #4  
Seattle Forrest
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Seattle Forrest's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 22,129
Mentioned: 78 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 15225 Post(s)
Liked 6,444 Times in 3,647 Posts
Our bike rental program is $8 for a 24 hour period, but you can only have the bike for 30 minutes at a time or your card will be charged a penalty.

It can work very well for a ride to a grocery store, you return the bike before you do your shopping, then use it again to go home.

Unfortunately almost all of the stations are clustered in two parts of the city so in combination with the 30 minute limit, they're just not suited to cross town trips.
Seattle Forrest is offline  
Old 07-08-16, 10:05 AM
  #5  
Seattle Forrest
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Seattle Forrest's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 22,129
Mentioned: 78 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 15225 Post(s)
Liked 6,444 Times in 3,647 Posts
Originally Posted by cooker View Post
It's a different service. You're paying Uber to take you on one trip. You are renting the bike to go wherever you want.
Of course it's a different service. In one, you're paying for labor and fuel; in the other, you're paying to rent an object for a brief time and fuel (food) is your responsibility. Both the Uber car and Pronto bike require periodic maintenance.
Seattle Forrest is offline  
Old 07-08-16, 10:17 AM
  #6  
1nterceptor
LET'S ROLL
 
1nterceptor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: NEW YORK, NY - USA
Posts: 4,782

Bikes: 2014 BMC Gran Fondo, 2013 Brompton S6L-X

Mentioned: 18 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 306 Post(s)
Liked 41 Times in 31 Posts
The math is similar here in NYC. But if done on a weekly or monthly basis; bike share wins.
I notice you mentioned 1 is slow and 2 is fast. But you say you don't drive because of traffic issues.
Won't Uber be affected by the same traffic?
1nterceptor is offline  
Old 07-08-16, 10:18 AM
  #7  
I-Like-To-Bike
Been Around Awhile
 
I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Burlington Iowa
Posts: 28,543

Bikes: Vaterland and Ragazzi

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 11 Post(s)
Liked 594 Times in 384 Posts
Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
Our bike rental program is $8 for a 24 hour period, but you can only have the bike for 30 minutes at a time or your card will be charged a penalty.

It can work very well for a ride to a grocery store, you return the bike before you do your shopping, then use it again to go home.

Unfortunately almost all of the stations are clustered in two parts of the city so in combination with the 30 minute limit, they're just not suited to cross town trips.
It sounds like this bike rental service is tailored specifically for people who commute into the bike rental zone by some other means (presumably car pool or public transit) and then don't want to walk the final mile or so to their destination. Can't imagine many daily or frequent commuters/shoppers would routinely pay such high daily rates for such a limited service. Especially those who do not enjoy riding in the rain or other less than perfect weather conditions. For those who live, shop and work within the rental zone, buying and using as needed any cheap bike, used or new, would make more sense.

I suspect that the NYC bike share program is kept afloat because of NYC's wider distribution of bike rental stations and availability of a reasonable annual rental rate, in combination with an extensive rail/transit transit service into Manhattan and the financial support from big pockets CitiBank.

Last edited by I-Like-To-Bike; 07-08-16 at 10:22 AM.
I-Like-To-Bike is offline  
Old 07-08-16, 12:36 PM
  #8  
no1mad 
Thunder Whisperer
 
no1mad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: NE OK
Posts: 8,852

Bikes: '06 Kona Smoke

Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 274 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 5 Times in 1 Post
Originally Posted by Ekdog View Post
I was in San Diego recently and noticed that they had a bike-sharing system, too. An hour ride costs $7, while an 8-hour ride is $24! No wonder hardly anybody was using it. If these systems are to be successful, they need to be much cheaper. The one here in Seville only costs about $35 per year and is very popular, as you might imagine. It would be interesting to hear from others about their bike-share systems.
You may think that $24 is outrageous, but consider the math. If you were charged a flat $7/hr for that 8 hour period, your total would be $56- so a savings to you. Conversely, if you rent it for an 8 hour period, you are preventing it from being rented (on an hourly basis) by potentially 6 others- which would mean that the bike share potentially loses $42 in revenue.

As to the bike shares in my area, there are two (at least the last time I bothered to check). One is through the local mass transit (bus) service. I forget the fees (I think there were none), but it was limited to a 24 hour period. They were (still are?) Giant Simples w/SS and I don't think that there were really any choice in frame size..

The other is the 'Pink Bikes' sponsored primarily by a local heart hospital (same one that associated with the Tulsa Tough). The kiosks are located along the Arkansas River Trail system within Tulsa County. I think that there are like 5 stations along a ~30 mile corridor. I never used it, so I not familiar with the fees.
__________________
Community guidelines
no1mad is offline  
Old 07-08-16, 12:58 PM
  #9  
Walter S
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Atlanta, GA. USA
Posts: 3,804

Bikes: Surly Long Haul Disc Trucker

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1015 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by no1mad View Post
You may think that $24 is outrageous, but consider the math. If you were charged a flat $7/hr for that 8 hour period, your total would be $56- so a savings to you. Conversely, if you rent it for an 8 hour period, you are preventing it from being rented (on an hourly basis) by potentially 6 others- which would mean that the bike share potentially loses $42 in revenue.


Savings? Just a too steep price compared to an even steeper price. I'd take neither.
Walter S is offline  
Old 07-08-16, 01:12 PM
  #10  
1nterceptor
LET'S ROLL
 
1nterceptor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: NEW YORK, NY - USA
Posts: 4,782

Bikes: 2014 BMC Gran Fondo, 2013 Brompton S6L-X

Mentioned: 18 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 306 Post(s)
Liked 41 Times in 31 Posts
Originally Posted by Ekdog View Post
I was in San Diego recently and noticed that they had a bike-sharing system, too. An hour ride costs $7, while an 8-hour ride is $24! No wonder hardly anybody was using it. If these systems are to be successful, they need to be much cheaper. The one here in Seville only costs about $35 per year and is very popular, as you might imagine. It would be interesting to hear from others about their bike-share systems.
Seems like the prices went up the last time I checked, I'm not a member so not keeping up.
Still a better deal than mass transit and Uber though:

https://www.citibikenyc.com/pricing
The annual membership is $14.95/mo with annual commitment (or $155/year if you pay in full). Great for short stays in the NYC area. The 3-day pass costs $24 for a 72-hour period. Perfect for visitors or tourists. The day pass costs $12 for a 24-hour period.

Once in a while they have "free days"; I tried it once:
Citibike New York City by 1nterceptor, on Flickr
1nterceptor is offline  
Old 07-08-16, 01:19 PM
  #11  
Ekdog
Senior Member
 
Ekdog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Seville, Spain
Posts: 4,403

Bikes: Brompton M6R, mountain bikes, Circe Omnis+ tandem

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 145 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 4 Times in 3 Posts
Still kind of pricey, but much more reasonable than the system in San Diego.
Ekdog is offline  
Old 07-08-16, 01:26 PM
  #12  
Ekdog
Senior Member
 
Ekdog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Seville, Spain
Posts: 4,403

Bikes: Brompton M6R, mountain bikes, Circe Omnis+ tandem

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 145 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 4 Times in 3 Posts
Originally Posted by no1mad View Post
You may think that $24 is outrageous, but consider the math. If you were charged a flat $7/hr for that 8 hour period, your total would be $56- so a savings to you. Conversely, if you rent it for an 8 hour period, you are preventing it from being rented (on an hourly basis) by potentially 6 others- which would mean that the bike share potentially loses $42 in revenue.
If I were going to spend a fortnight or more in San Diego, I'd probably just buy a cheap, used mountain bike, ride it during my stay and then sell it or give it away before I left.
Ekdog is offline  
Old 07-09-16, 06:42 AM
  #13  
denis123
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Montreal
Posts: 55
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
In Montreal, the fare for one day was similar until last year. Then, they decreased the price to $5 a day, or 14$ for 3 days. They also introduced a new one-time rental for 2.75$ for up to 30 minutes. After these changes, the short-term ridership raised by 91%. So, it seems that it would be a good idea to decrease the fare a bit.

Also, it is always possible to find examples that will make bike sharing look bad but you can also find a lot of examples for which it is outrageously advantageous. I have an annual membership and I use the bike sharing a lot during the season when it is open. I don't need to buy a bus pass and I can say that my trips cost me almost nothing compared to other transportation ways.
denis123 is offline  
Old 07-09-16, 07:19 AM
  #14  
Dahon.Steve
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 7,141
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 257 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 8 Times in 7 Posts
Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
My bike is in the shop, but should be ready to pick up today. I use my car as rarely as possible because of parking and traffic issues, and the shop is a bit further than I have time to walk to. So my options are:
  1. Public transportation, $2.50. Slow, crowded, unreliable timing, enough of a walk that I should wear street shoes and bring bike shoes.
  2. Uber will cost $5.64, will be fast, and will take me where I need to be, door to door, so I need to carry nothing.
  3. A Pronto bike is $8 and good for 24 hours, but only 30 minutes at a time. Flat pedals and limited Pronto stations mean I need to wear street shoes and bring road shoes.
I went to the website and a Pronto bike is $2.00 dollars for 60 minutes which is all you really need. A Pronto bike is a bargain at $8.00 dollars for 24 hours. How much would it cost to ride Uber for 24 hours?

If you rent a bike anywhere, expect to pay over $100.00 at a local bike shop. How much does Avis charge for renting a car 24 hours?

Last edited by Dahon.Steve; 07-09-16 at 07:30 AM.
Dahon.Steve is offline  
Old 07-09-16, 07:54 AM
  #15  
Ekdog
Senior Member
 
Ekdog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Seville, Spain
Posts: 4,403

Bikes: Brompton M6R, mountain bikes, Circe Omnis+ tandem

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 145 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 4 Times in 3 Posts
Originally Posted by denis123 View Post
In Montreal, the fare for one day was similar until last year. Then, they decreased the price to $5 a day, or 14$ for 3 days. They also introduced a new one-time rental for 2.75$ for up to 30 minutes. After these changes, the short-term ridership raised by 91%. So, it seems that it would be a good idea to decrease the fare a bit.

Also, it is always possible to find examples that will make bike sharing look bad but you can also find a lot of examples for which it is outrageously advantageous. I have an annual membership and I use the bike sharing a lot during the season when it is open. I don't need to buy a bus pass and I can say that my trips cost me almost nothing compared to other transportation ways.
Sounds good.

Los Angeles has just begun their own system. It's $3.50 for 30 minutes.

Will L.A.'s bike-share program take off? - LA Times
Ekdog is offline  
Old 07-09-16, 08:13 AM
  #16  
prathmann
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Bay Area, Calif.
Posts: 7,239
Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 659 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 4 Times in 3 Posts
Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve View Post
I went to the website and a Pronto bike is $2.00 dollars for 60 minutes which is all you really need. A Pronto bike is a bargain at $8.00 dollars for 24 hours.
$2 is the surcharge if you ride a single bike for between 30 and 60 minutes and would be charged in addition to the $8 for a 24-hour pass. But you should be able to avoid the $2 charge by returning a bike to a dock within 30 minutes and taking it (or another one) out again and riding to another dock.
prathmann is offline  
Old 07-09-16, 10:56 AM
  #17  
wilfried
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: The Big City
Posts: 619

Bikes: Brompton M3L, Tern Verge P20, Citi Bike

Mentioned: 24 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 85 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 6 Times in 4 Posts
An annual membership in Seattle is just $7.95 a month (I presume you have to commit for a whole year?), or $85 for the year if you pay up front. It would be well worth it if you used it just a few times a month. Save less than two Uber rides, or four bus fares, and it has more than paid for itself. And you have the convenience of not to have to think, "Is it worth it to spend $8 today?" And you can keep the bike for 45 minutes at time with an annual membership.

In fact, that's how I use Citi Bike in New York. The annual cost is $155 (yes, it went up from $99 when it started), and for me it's well worth the annual fee (I get a discount, but I would pay the full rate if I had to, and did for the first couple of years). I usually ride my own bike, so I only use it sporadically, but it's very useful to have bikes available when I can't, or don't want to, deal with my own bike. 45 minutes is actually a long time; I've never come close to running out of time, and rarely gone over 30 minutes. New York got it right by going all in with a large footprint and lots of stations. Bike share is all about network effects.
wilfried is offline  
Old 07-09-16, 02:09 PM
  #18  
Walter S
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Atlanta, GA. USA
Posts: 3,804

Bikes: Surly Long Haul Disc Trucker

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1015 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve View Post
I went to the website and a Pronto bike is $2.00 dollars for 60 minutes which is all you really need. A Pronto bike is a bargain at $8.00 dollars for 24 hours. How much would it cost to ride Uber for 24 hours?

If you rent a bike anywhere, expect to pay over $100.00 at a local bike shop. How much does Avis charge for renting a car 24 hours?
Enterprise will deliver a car to my house and then come pick it up the next day for under $60. Plus $25 to Amex for insurance.
Walter S is offline  
Old 07-09-16, 04:35 PM
  #19  
I-Like-To-Bike
Been Around Awhile
 
I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Burlington Iowa
Posts: 28,543

Bikes: Vaterland and Ragazzi

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 11 Post(s)
Liked 594 Times in 384 Posts
Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve View Post
If you rent a bike anywhere, expect to pay over $100.00 at a local bike shop. How much does Avis charge for renting a car 24 hours?
Local big box stores everywhere will sell a new bike for under $100 good enough for short term use. Ekdog has the right idea for short term use in a location away from home, get a used bike from a thrift store or even a new one for less than $100 and sell or give it away upon departure from the area.

The Internet/Google makes it easy to estimate car rental costs at any location. Never saw any that cost $100 day except for luxury/specialty vehicles like Corvettes or stretch limos.
I-Like-To-Bike is offline  
Old 07-10-16, 03:50 AM
  #20  
denis123
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Montreal
Posts: 55
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
Local big box stores everywhere will sell a new bike for under $100 good enough for short term use. Ekdog has the right idea for short term use in a location away from home, get a used bike from a thrift store or even a new one for less than $100 and sell or give it away upon departure from the area.
That doesn't make sense for short term use. In most locations, if you are away for less than a month, it is cheaper to use the bike sharing system and It is more convenient. I used it in Paris where it is 8 euros a week and I didn't have to worry about the bike when I didn't need it.
denis123 is offline  
Old 07-10-16, 05:40 AM
  #21  
Ekdog
Senior Member
 
Ekdog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Seville, Spain
Posts: 4,403

Bikes: Brompton M6R, mountain bikes, Circe Omnis+ tandem

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 145 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 4 Times in 3 Posts
Originally Posted by denis123 View Post
That doesn't make sense for short term use. In most locations, if you are away for less than a month, it is cheaper to use the bike sharing system and It is more convenient. I used it in Paris where it is 8 euros a week and I didn't have to worry about the bike when I didn't need it.
Eight dollars a week makes sense. Eight dollars an hour does not.
Ekdog is offline  
Old 07-10-16, 06:56 AM
  #22  
denis123
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Montreal
Posts: 55
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Of course, it depends on the pricing of the system where you are.
denis123 is offline  
Old 07-10-16, 08:07 AM
  #23  
Walter S
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Atlanta, GA. USA
Posts: 3,804

Bikes: Surly Long Haul Disc Trucker

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1015 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Ekdog View Post
Eight dollars a week makes sense. Eight dollars an hour does not.
^^^^^Sums it up nicely.
Walter S is offline  
Old 07-10-16, 09:21 AM
  #24  
I-Like-To-Bike
Been Around Awhile
 
I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Burlington Iowa
Posts: 28,543

Bikes: Vaterland and Ragazzi

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 11 Post(s)
Liked 594 Times in 384 Posts
Originally Posted by denis123 View Post
Of course, it depends on the pricing of the system where you are.
Of course; the OP stated that the rate for bike sharing in effect that he was discussing and was upset about was $8 hour.
Given the situation described by the OP, reasonable rates and/or reasonable annual fees for bike sharing that may exist in other cities will not help the OP where he is located.
I-Like-To-Bike is offline  
Old 07-10-16, 09:29 AM
  #25  
denis123
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Montreal
Posts: 55
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
Of course; the OP stated that the rate for bike sharing in effect that he was discussing and was upset about was $8 hour.
He wrote 8$ a day not $8 an hour.
denis123 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

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

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