Sunday, January 11, 2015

Bike Share Business Dos and Don'ts

Oh Canada!  Your Bixi bike share was the first, the best, the most wonderful of any bike share system in the hemisphere.  So what brought you to the brink of death, Bixi?  Undercapitalization, a bad decision to switch software systems, and an ill-timed bankruptcy.  What was smart and sustainably minded?  The solar-powered wi-fi on the docking stations and the "sturdy equipment."  (That's Latin for 45 lb. bikes).  Well, the software is now in the hands of a team of experts, and the system's big challenge is to regain the confidence of commuters.  So Bixi owner/investor/sofa magnate, Bruno Rodi, may turn this thing around.  Citibike, pay attention!  Maybe you need an eccentric investor with a vision.  Nominees?  No sharks with bad hair comb-overs.

Meanwhile, Citibike may now extend to New Jersey.  At least you can dock them there when you arrive back from the city.

And, though "nobody walks in LA," as the song says, they do bike and now they can use bike share.  That's right.  In downtown LA.

So what can cities do to make #cyclists feel safer?  Make protected #bikelanes.  Use poles to separate drivers and give cyclists their own signals.  Why bother?  Simple.  More people on bikes means less in cars, less obesity, cha-ching, more money saved.

What can you say about #CourtlandMilloy, The Washington Post's irrelevant columnist who uses provocation to get attention?  He is not unlike a toddler whose mother has just picked up the phone.  He continues his advice for cyclists even though he does not ride his bike.  This is a bit like the person who has one meal in front of an open kitchen at a restaurant and leaves thinking he could be the chef de cuisine without any further training.  Like the woman who watches the NASA rocket launch and thinks she operate the craft herself with just a few hours of training.  I cannot include the hyper-link to his piece because I will not inflict that on the one or two readers of this blog.  The Post needs to think seriously about why he is still employed indulged there.  His outdated views may no longer serve the readers.

In Washington, it seems both Republicans and Democrats can come together on the issue of Mountain Biking.  Congress passed four bills that essentially expanded the U.S. Park Service's mountain areas by adding land to the existing places where mountain biking is permitted.  Is this the wise de-politicization of the issue of climate change, previously known by its real name, global warming, that could set a course for America's leading role in the post crude oil world?  Nope, but it's a little something.

And if low gas prices are enticing you back into the car, remember this line from the film "Who Killed the Electric Car?"  "Like the junkie, they lower the price to get you hooked.  You start driving again, investing in gas-guzzling cars.  Then they raise the price.  A lot.  But it's too late.  You're hooked."
Just say no.  Or NFW.

So, if I see you in the bike lane, let's be smug.
Elisa P.

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