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Citibikes have started!

Old 05-28-18, 08:13 PM
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@arbee, that's weird. I see plenty of women on Citi Bike. My wife really likes the new models, Sturmey Archer and NuVinci. She's 5'4" tall. My friend is 5'3" tall. I am under the impression that the SA frame is the same as NuVinci, but am I wrong? Also, all the bikes seem to have short reaches, but I'm biased, as I'm long-waisted, and I like a long reach.
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Old 05-28-18, 08:46 PM
  #602  
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
@arbee, that's weird.
Understood; I'm just the messenger.
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Old 06-03-18, 08:18 PM
  #603  
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@noglider, I ride 90% S/A bike and 10% NuVinci (due to the large chance the NuVinci hub not having an O/D. I only select it when there is no S/A bikes available), and I never notice any difference between the way the two feels.

I almost never ever ride the Shimano bikes, and if I do, it is usually through the streets to another dock that has a S/A bike. But last time, I rode it the whole way along the Hudson River Greenway, and I thought the steering felt faster on it. I always thought the S/A steering was heavy and sluggish, but eventually got use to it and now can dodge and dart around multiple obstacles, Maybe with the faster steering, the bike can be steered easily w/o my hands on the handlebar via weight shifting while having my bag strapped to the basket in the front (something that seems to be impossible with the S/A or NuVinci bike). But then, the shape of the handlebar dissuades riding with the elbow resting on it for a more aero position.
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Old 06-03-18, 10:27 PM
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At the risk of off (if related) topic, saw a bunch of Lime bikes in Yonkers today. First a couple on them also heading up from Bronxville to the parkway cycling event. Later on several of them on the street.

Rather contrasting to the citibike design; much narrower tires and look lighter overall.

All of the ones I saw parked were done so fairly considerately and didn't obstruct anything. Though the one by the side of the South County Trail in the woods about half a mile south of mile square road did make me wonder... I guess at least with the transponder they know it's there.

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Old 06-04-18, 09:32 AM
  #605  
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Originally Posted by UniChris View Post
of the ones I saw parked were done so fairly considerately and didn't obstruct anything. Though the one by the side of the South County Trail in the woods about half a mile south of mile square road did make me wonder... I guess at least with the transponder they know it's there.
Ha. I saw that one, too. It hammers home the point that these may wind up left in some inconvenient places and the balancing issues with Citibike could be even worse with these when they end up scattered in locations like this.
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Old 06-04-18, 10:54 AM
  #606  
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Originally Posted by punkinevil View Post
Ha. I saw that one, too. It hammers home the point that these may wind up left in some inconvenient places and the balancing issues with Citibike could be even worse with these when they end up scattered in locations like this.
Presumably they know who rode it there (unless someone carried it as a determined prank) so I don't know why they don't define what is and isn't allowed and tack on fees for less suitable locations. Or discounts or even rebates for claiming one from an odd place and riding it to a high demand one, almost like the scooter companies do for charging.

Apart from pranking the system, also unclear "why" - I guess you could get out to the thruway about there. Or looking at the map there are houses just through the trees to the west that seem to have only roundabout road access to the north or south, maybe someone who lives there and usually bushwacks to the trail as a shortcut rode it to their point of departure and planned to ride it back out again the next morning.

Or maybe it was broken - didn't look it, and that part of the path is very smooth so pinch flat looks unlikely, but possible.

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Old 06-04-18, 11:08 AM
  #607  
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Back in NYC, I often get the red light when I insert my key. I try again, same thing. I try another bike; I get another red light. Then I try a third bike, and I get the bike. What is going on?
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Old 06-04-18, 03:24 PM
  #608  
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
Back in NYC, I often get the red light when I insert my key. I try again, same thing. I try another bike; I get another red light. Then I try a third bike, and I get the bike. What is going on?
Sometimes the lock mechanism is stuck. Try lifting the rear, or jiggling it up and down, while the light is yellow, and it might turn green. It works some of the time. If the light flashes directly to red when you insert the key, I think something else is going on.
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Old 06-04-18, 03:30 PM
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@wilfried, thanks for giving me something to try!
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Old 06-04-18, 03:34 PM
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One story among several:

Lyft Weighs Purchase of Citi Bike Operator Motivate


Thoughts? I for one am not pleased at the prospect.
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Old 06-04-18, 09:34 PM
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I'm against it mostly because I'm against most corporate mergers.
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Old 06-04-18, 09:45 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
I'm against it mostly because I'm against most corporate mergers.
I'll be deleting all my repos.

Oh, er, wait. nevermind, wrong merger and this isn't slashdot.
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Old 06-05-18, 07:16 AM
  #613  
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Originally Posted by UniChris View Post
I'll be deleting all my repos.

Oh, er, wait. nevermind, wrong merger and this isn't slashdot.
[chuckle]

.

.
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Old 06-07-18, 12:21 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
I'm against it mostly because I'm against most corporate mergers.
I'm really leery of the potential buyout, and Citi Bike becoming subsumed under Lyft's broader corporate interests. What happens when the interests of bike share clash with ride share? Motivate is now owned by a real estate company and a fitness company; so far they seem to have left them to their own devices.
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Old 06-07-18, 12:25 PM
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Good questions, @wilfried. Now I'm even more leery. It turns out that the story about GM et al buying out the NYC trolleys is not as simple as we thought, but it still provides a good lesson.
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Old 06-07-18, 12:40 PM
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On the plus side, once something has existed and people get used to it, it's a little harder to take it away.

Also, there's probably reason to be more concerned about the City's side of the contract, than the vendor's side of the fulfillment. Even if you look at notorious failures, say university dining services, who's really to blame - the contractors for doing hard nosed business, or the university for renewing a universally unpopular contract?

What would be great: One membership spanning two competing vendors, with vendor payment by usage share.
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Old 06-07-18, 04:13 PM
  #617  
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They don't have to kill it by taking it away, they can just let it die on the vine, or take bike share in a direction that's good for the company but not good for users. Who knows, at this point it's all speculation of course.

They city is already letting it languish a bit, by not expanding the the very successful Citi Bike system, because our fearless mayor doesn't have the political spine to take a few parking spots in order to provide something that will provide more transportation to more people than storage for one private automobile.
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Old 06-07-18, 07:10 PM
  #618  
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Originally Posted by wilfried View Post
They don't have to kill it by taking it away, they can just let it die on the vine, or take bike share in a direction that's good for the company but not good for users. Who knows, at this point it's all speculation of course.

They city is already letting it languish a bit, by not expanding the the very successful Citi Bike system, because our fearless mayor doesn't have the political spine to take a few parking spots in order to provide something that will provide more transportation to more people than storage for one private automobile.
But he has proposed taking neighborhood parking spots and making them for car sharing (zip cars) only.
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Old 06-07-18, 07:40 PM
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Citi Bike has expanded several times, and many or most of the docking stations take away parking spaces. The community survives, even when they predict they won't. Sometimes the community complains loudly enough that they move the station away but not far
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Old 06-08-18, 06:18 AM
  #620  
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They moved some of the stations around Prospect Park after people complained. But it made some sense to have the docks on the park entrances rather than the streets since that doesn't take up parking.
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Old 06-08-18, 10:20 AM
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Hope it isn't a repeat of history.
General Motors bought out all the streetcar and trolley companies, and we know how that turned out:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taken_for_a_Ride
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Old 06-08-18, 11:17 AM
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I do not think that history will repeat itself. In the case of GM, they were looking to make/sell more cars to make more money. Lyft/Uber want to dominate ride sharing on all fronts and they do not really care if more cars are sold. In fact I'm sure they wish less people would drive, so that all people who did drive would drive for them (pipe dream will probably not happen). The battle that is about to take place is which system can be in more cities, deliver the best product, and make the most money. Imo this is going to be a good and bad thing. It will be good because the software side of things will improve and they may have more connectivity throughout the ridesharing experience. But it will be bad due to the fact that Lyft and Uber, to some extent (they do have a small fleet of self-driving cars out west), do not currently have vehicles that they must maintain. The real issues they will face is not in NYC or in cities that are already established, they have ample employees and teams that know what needs to happen, it will be in any cities that they look to expand. I do not think that the bad out weighs the good that can come from this but it will be an interesting time within the six to eight months after any kind of purchase, if it does actually happen.
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Old 06-08-18, 11:55 AM
  #623  
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Here's one bit of commentary on the potential the Motivate buyout:

Private Transport Monopolies Will Be Bad for Everybody

Parking is too often the reason we can't have nice things. I certainly don't expect this mayor to have the spine to take a stand. "Motivate had been in talks with City Hall to expand its fleet by another 50 percent, with the service area reaching parts of the Bronx. But Mayor de Blasio did not want the next round of bike-share expansion to replace on-street parking spaces, according to one source familiar with the negotiations."

NYC Has a Bike-Share System That Works. Why Aren’t We Expanding It?
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Old 06-08-18, 12:13 PM
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Originally Posted by DJH8098 View Post
I do not think that history will repeat itself. In the case of GM, they were looking to make/sell more cars to make more money. Lyft/Uber want to dominate ride sharing on all fronts and they do not really care if more cars are sold. In fact I'm sure they wish less people would drive, so that all people who did drive would drive for them (pipe dream will probably not happen). The battle that is about to take place is which system can be in more cities, deliver the best product, and make the most money.
Presumably Lyft would rather people book vehicle rides than get on the bikes however.

Especially if they can get people to still pay to have a membership, but end up booking rides more, and opting for the bike less.

So it would be something sneaky, that doesn't kill the bike share system or even feel like it has come renewal time, but nudges the daily "which to take" consideration a little more towards ordering the car.

That's why I like the idea of two vendors with a common membership fee, compensated proportionate to their share of the usage. Ironically, that's sort of how Lyft itself operates, only with thousands of vendors...
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Old 06-08-18, 12:33 PM
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The trolley companies were not purchased to make room for cars. That's a commonly held view, but they were going bankrupt. They were going bankrupt because the city regulators required the fares to be too low. And that is the long-standing situation with the NYC subways and buses. It's no longer private, but there is too much emphasis on low fares (and low subsidies).

City Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez wants the city to subsidize Citi Bike. And so do I. It's a miracle and also a proof of concept that Citi Bike has broken even so far. But it should be serving more people. Those people are beyond the profitable region. And they are lower income. Not only that, getting people on bikes reduces traffic congestion and mass transit congestion.
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