839Re:Legal redefinition of bicycles as public transport?
- Jul 17, 2008It may help this discussion to distinguish between two dichotomies that are sometimes confounded, namely public vs private and individual vs collective
In public transport the travellers use a vehicle or system that is available equally, or at least similarly, to all or some defined subpopulation of citizens. In private transport the traveller or a mutually agreed group of travellers uses a vehicle which they provide or hire for their exclusive use.
In individual transport, a traveller or a typically small mutually agreed group of travellers have a vehicle to themselves for as nearly as practicable exactly the journey they wish. In collective transport, travellers or groups of travellers share a vehicle without prior arrangement or control of who else will be using the vehicle with them, typically for a useful part, but not necessarily the whole of their journey.
Bicycles or similar provide individual transport. My own bike provides me with private transport, but a Velib bike in Paris is a form of public transport. A cycle rickshaw, for example in Dresden or Oxford is individual public transport like a taxi is in those two cities. Shared taxis are collective public transport.
Readers of this message will need no more examples - and of course may find cases where the above definitions are harder to apply or break down completely!
But if we want to strengthen the legal position of the users of bicycles and similar, we need terminology that stands up to hard logical tests, and to call my own bike public transport doesn't!
-- Richard Allsop Centre for Transport Studies University College London Gower Street London WC1E 6BT Phone +44 20 7679 1555 Fax +44 20 7679 1567 email rea@... www.cts.ucl.ac.uk
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