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Re: [NewMobilityCafe] Re:Transportation, Sharing and Sustainable Development

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  • Chris Bradshaw
    ZVI, You raise an interesting point. You deem that Bixi bikes easier to access than your own, mainly, I suspect, because the self-owned bike requires
    Message 1 of 2 , Nov 16, 2009
      You raise an interesting point.  You deem that Bixi bikes easier to access than your own, mainly, I suspect, because the self-owned bike requires finding/using secure parking at both ends of each trip. 
      That extra effort is worthwhile only for longer commuting trips, but shorter shopping/errand trips tip the balance for the shared-bike choice.
      This overhead of the 'trip ends' affects trip types and modes.  A car-owner usually won't choose driving unless the trip is long enough to cover the time cost of getting out of and into a parking spot on both ends of the trip.  Taking the bus isn't practical for short trips, thanks to both walking and waiting times.  In both these cases, walking is part of the 'end's' overhead, especially since it often doesn't involve moving towards one's destination.
      All this is to point out that shorter trips favour the kinder, gentler (and more informal) modes that don't have much 'overhead' at the beginning or end of each trip, but just move you along a bit slowly and convivially.
      Chris Bradshaw
      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Zvi Leve
      Sent: Friday, November 13, 2009 13:59
      Subject: [NewMobilityCafe] Re:Transportation, Sharing and Sustainable Development


      Very interesting thoughts Richard and Chris (and Aaron).

      Being in Montreal, I have quite extensive experience with the Bixi bikeshare program and can offer my own personal impressions of it's place in the transportation mix. I own two bicycles myself and thought (and still think) that the pricing model for Bixi was too expensive for Montreal. I read somewhere that a monthly or annual subscription includes a 'bixi-key' which is very convenient to loan to friends. I was expecting a visitor so I decided to make the leap and I signed up for one full year at $76 (which did not seem like that bad of a deal).

      Once I got my Bixi key, the first thing that I did was try it out. I am fortunate that I live in an inner-ring area that is well-served by the system. There is a station around the corner from where I live, and I rarely need to walk more than two-four blocks to find a station anywhere in the areas where I frequent. Wow - All of a sudden my 'range of options' was just so much larger! Instead of going to one of my local neighborhood stores, I could now go a few extra blocks and go to a more specialized place if I wanted to.

      For a while I really started going crazy - using Bixi for what would have only been ten minute walks: feta cheese from this place, grapefruits from that one, spices from yet another.... I still use my bicycle to get to work, but Bixi has replaced (or rather 'augmented') my walking trips around the neighbourhood. I probably actually make a larger number of trips now, since it is easier to go out and get back home in a given amount of time.

      I also find it convenient to get to the metro station on the days when the weather is bad and I do not want to bring my bike.

      On balance, I would say that Bixi has 'augmented' my mobility and provides me with access to a larger range of options. I still walk and still use my own bicycle(s), but I have an additional option now which is very comfortable and convenient.



      2009/11/13 Chris Bradshaw <hearth@ties. ottawa.on. ca>
      > I'm concerned that it is not clear in our discussion that people disagree
      > that carshare, bikeshare and rideshare are good things.


      Bikesharing is also a big question mark, as it hasn't been studied enough
      yet to learn what its users' deem their best alternatives to be.  Would they
      be walking otherwise, or riding an owned bike, or driving, or taking a taxi,
      or using transit?

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