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Re: Should bike racks be placed on public transit vehicles?

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  • paulparma <info@venetianpassage.com>
    The bring it on board accomodations, more easily provided by rolling stock than buses can be a good system. The limited rack system can t be successful I
    Message 1 of 17 , Feb 5, 2003
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      The bring it on board accomodations, more easily provided by rolling
      stock than buses can be a good system. The limited rack system can't
      be successful I think and here's why.

      first stateing, or rather restateing, the obvious. Buses have to run
      long routes in order to pickup sufficient number of riders in our
      cities' low density. also, the distance between the routes except
      near large transfer centers is usually further than most would care to
      or have time to walk and this distance is due to limitted money to
      subsidize the system with more money losing routes. Alos the headway
      between buses on a single route is very long also due to the low
      density need for ridership per bus.

      All this just highlights the reasons that buses in combo with bikes is
      better than just using the bus, at least it could be better.
      Unfortunately, several times in the last two weeks, I was left at a
      stop though I had intended to board, because there were allready two
      bikes on the rack. In Austin, the racks only hold two bikes. So I
      had to decide wheter I would postpone my plans or ride to another
      route, head on to my finall very far flung destination on my bike and
      arrive late or wait another 35 minutes and take my chances with the
      next bus on that routes and be late or a no show. Is this the way to
      run a railroad? Am I not worhty as a citizen to be on time to my
      appointments due to my not choosing or being able to afford a car?

      How could a system where the saturation point of a particular
      otherwise more practical transmodal ridership group is limited to two
      (or threee or even four) of the 32 to 60 seats on the bus?

      Paul Parma
      www.venetianpassage.com/private.html
    • J.H. Crawford
      Hi All, There s another, much simpler appoach to this problem, which is the use of white bikes, loaner bikes that you drag and drop. You d ride your own
      Message 2 of 17 , Feb 5, 2003
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        Hi All,

        There's another, much simpler appoach to this problem,
        which is the use of "white bikes," loaner bikes that you
        "drag and drop." You'd ride your own bike to the transit
        halt, lock up your bike, ride to close to your destination,
        grab a white bike, and pedal there. These systems have
        been tried, successfully, in Copenhagen and unsuccessfully
        in Amsterdam (theft problems in the first attempt 35 years
        ago, equipment troubles with a recent revival).

        IMHO, it doesn't make a lot of sense to try to accommodate
        bikes on buses. It's an operational problem (delays while
        people mount and remove their bikes) and there's no reasonable
        solution to the problem of inadequate space for bikes if more
        than two people want to use them. We can't have city buses
        delayed for several minutes while bikes are being handled.
        With metros (and possibly trams), it would be possible to
        dedicate one car of the train to wheeled vehicles generally,
        arranged for direct roll-on, roll-off loading/unloading.
        I just don't think it works very well with buses, and the
        systems I've seen rarely appear to be used.

        Regards,





        -- ### --

        J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities
        mailbox@... Carfree.com
      • Jason Davies
        ... they were also stolen within hours in Cambridge (UK) a few years ago. All of them..:-) but I don t see that this solves too many problems. Most of the
        Message 3 of 17 , Feb 5, 2003
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          >There's another, much simpler appoach to this problem, which is the
          >use of "white bikes," loaner bikes that you "drag and drop."


          they were also stolen within hours in Cambridge (UK) a few years ago. All
          of them..:-)

          but I don't see that this solves too many problems. Most of the time if you
          ride somewhere you need to get back. And you need kit you can trust, not
          something with a slow puncture and damaged lights, bad brakes etc. Loan
          bikes can be murderous.
        • Patrick McDonough
          We have racks on buses in Chapel Hill-Carrboro, NC, and generally it works quite well. Despite the high number of those who bike in the area, the policy is if
          Message 4 of 17 , Feb 5, 2003
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            We have racks on buses in Chapel Hill-Carrboro, NC, and generally it works
            quite well. Despite the high number of those who bike in the area, the
            policy is if the rack is full, the cyclist either waits for another bus or
            boards without the bike. I have yet to take my bike onto a bus, but I am
            fond of finding safe places to lock my bike and then trip chaining using the
            bus for long hauls, walking on the far end, and biking back in my
            neighborhood.

            I think cyclists overall appreciate the added utility of the transit system
            than they bristle at the possibility of having only 2 slots on each bus.

            Patrick McDOnough

            -----Original Message-----
            From: J.H. Crawford [mailto:mailbox@...]
            Sent: Wednesday, February 05, 2003 9:44 AM
            To: carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: Re: [carfree_cities] Re: Should bike racks be placed on public
            transit vehicles?



            Hi All,

            There's another, much simpler appoach to this problem,
            which is the use of "white bikes," loaner bikes that you
            "drag and drop." You'd ride your own bike to the transit
            halt, lock up your bike, ride to close to your destination,
            grab a white bike, and pedal there. These systems have
            been tried, successfully, in Copenhagen and unsuccessfully
            in Amsterdam (theft problems in the first attempt 35 years
            ago, equipment troubles with a recent revival).

            IMHO, it doesn't make a lot of sense to try to accommodate
            bikes on buses. It's an operational problem (delays while
            people mount and remove their bikes) and there's no reasonable
            solution to the problem of inadequate space for bikes if more
            than two people want to use them. We can't have city buses
            delayed for several minutes while bikes are being handled.
            With metros (and possibly trams), it would be possible to
            dedicate one car of the train to wheeled vehicles generally,
            arranged for direct roll-on, roll-off loading/unloading.
            I just don't think it works very well with buses, and the
            systems I've seen rarely appear to be used.

            Regards,





            -- ### --

            J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities
            mailbox@... Carfree.com


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          • J.H. Crawford
            ... I think you can hang on to the bike until you re done. ... Some of these bikes are designed to be bullteproof--solid tires, that sort of thing. It hasn t
            Message 5 of 17 , Feb 5, 2003
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              >but I don't see that this solves too many problems. Most of the time if you
              >ride somewhere you need to get back.

              I think you can hang on to the bike until you're done.

              >And you need kit you can trust, not
              >something with a slow puncture and damaged lights, bad brakes etc. Loan
              >bikes can be murderous.

              Some of these bikes are designed to be bullteproof--solid tires, that
              sort of thing. It hasn't apparently been an unmanagable problem in
              Copenhagen, and they recently increased their fleet size. The
              Amsterdam bikes are unique, so if you show up with one somewhere it's
              not supposed to be, then it's pretty clear that you've stolen it.








              -- ### --

              J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities
              mailbox@... Carfree.com
            • Pedaldancer@webtv.net
              Correct me if I am wrong. I believe it was part of the deal, in order for L.A., to receive monies, for their subway system, from the goverment, they had to
              Message 6 of 17 , Feb 5, 2003
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                Correct me if I am wrong.
                I believe it was part of the deal, in order for L.A., to receive monies,
                for their subway system, from the goverment, they had to install racks
                on all the buses. Since the subway, and the bus system, is all the same
                company.
                Also, I believe every new place of business is required to put a bike
                rack in front of their business. This was all part of that deal.
                PaulE
              • tomvolckhausen <tom.w.volckhausen@seagat
                In the Denver metro area, bikes on buses works very well. The regional transit buses allow bikes in the underseat luggage bins. That s how I got to work
                Message 7 of 17 , Feb 5, 2003
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                  In the Denver metro area, bikes on buses works very well. The
                  regional transit buses allow bikes in the underseat luggage bins.
                  That's how I got to work today, since the nearest bus stop is about 5
                  miles from my job, and the roads were too snowy/icy to feel safe on
                  the shoulder of a 65 mph 4 lane. I have seen as many as 20 bikes on a
                  bus, although they were recreational mtn bikers catching a ride up
                  the
                  canyon.
                  Although I occasionally use the front mounted racks on the local
                  buses, they do fill up. Allowing overflow bikes inside the bus in
                  the
                  rarely used wheel chair area would fix this (wheelchairs would still
                  have priority of course). In a true carfree city, heavy transit use
                  might make bikes and buses harder, tho as a mechanical engineer I
                  could design much higher capacity external racks. In real-life
                  sprawling US cities, the bike/bus combo extends coverage area greatly
                  and I see people using it everyday.

                  On another note, although I personally expect and hope for increased
                  gas prices, I agree with JH that car-dependency could continue for a
                  long time despite them. Many people still choose to drive in Europe,
                  with gas prices 3-4X US. 80 Mpg hybrids are feasible today, so if gas
                  prices increase 4X, a 4X increase in Mpg from the ~20 Mpg fleet
                  average currently would leave motorist cost unchanged.

                  OTOH, the shocks to the insanely oil-dependent US economy resulting
                  from increased prices might eventually leave many unable to afford
                  driving. Not the happiest way to the carfree city.
                • paulparma <info@venetianpassage.com>
                  ... Since Tom touched on both issues and most relavently to JH s response to both, I ll respond to both as well in one message. Regarding the bike rack thing,
                  Message 8 of 17 , Feb 5, 2003
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                    --- In carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, "tomvolckhausen
                    <tom.w.volckhausen@s...>" <tom.w.volckhausen@s...> wrote:
                    >

                    Since Tom touched on both issues and most relavently to JH's response
                    to both, I'll respond to both as well in one message.

                    Regarding the bike rack thing, in my opinion for what its worth, both
                    the bus systems Tom and JH have reported seem way more satisfactory
                    than what myself and others have been reporting in this thread. I
                    would feel more rosey about the 'white bike' system though if I hear
                    that you have a right to leave it at a destination; specifically
                    which, without or with a lock on it, until you head back to the
                    transit station?

                    Regarding the sobering summation that Mr. Crawford put forth regarding
                    the need to be independent of the dependence of Oil, I must say, I've
                    been in the other camp since before I joined this group; but a recent
                    personnel history of discussions with several flavors of mainstreamers
                    and a bit of reflection leaves me to concur with everything JH said on
                    the matter. Again, for what my opinion matters.

                    Though it tests my confidence as it might others in admitting it,
                    people will drive in spite of increased cost or lower (in some
                    respects literally lower than a high clearance SUV) power and smaller
                    size cars. But if we take the tack of providing substantial carfree
                    areas as an option, then it is not pressuring people to get out of
                    their cars, which they will succesfully resist, it is however allowing
                    them get out of their cars. It is also providing increased
                    independence on unsustainable fuel sources and decreases in auto
                    related pollution even further than fuel efficiency improvements on
                    cars and hydrogen-fueled cars for the population that chooses the
                    carfree mode.

                    So carfree is still a high road compared regarding stewarding
                    nonrenwable resources its just lower in that regard than some folks
                    like myself had once thought. Life value improvements and
                    environmental -- air, water and space effects -- are just higher in
                    relationship to that positive aspect.

                    But we need to get it done; build a substantial carfree area, not just
                    talk about itÂ….. And there I go, just talking about it again.

                    Build it and they will come....... Better yet, build it and they will
                    see, and once built, they can't tear it down. Its right there, where
                    the lies and misunderstandings will be harder and harder to keep
                    credible.


                    Paul Parma
                    www.venetianpassage.com/private.html
                  • J.H. Crawford
                    ... I m not sure. I think different implementations are different. I know that the current Amsterdam trial involved unlocking a bike by inserting a smart-card
                    Message 9 of 17 , Feb 5, 2003
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                      >I would feel more rosey about the 'white bike' system though if I hear
                      >that you have a right to leave it at a destination; specifically
                      >which, without or with a lock on it, until you head back to the
                      >transit station?

                      I'm not sure. I think different implementations are different. I
                      know that the current Amsterdam trial involved unlocking a bike
                      by inserting a smart-card in a slot. You have to re-lock the bike
                      upon arrival. It all sounds like a nuisance to me, and some people
                      will resist allowing their movements to be traced by their smart-card
                      activity. I have the idea that the Copenhagen system is much simpler;
                      find a bike, use it, walk away. I suppose some effort will be required
                      to make sure that bikes are located where they're needed. Copenhagen
                      is financed by advertising, so there may be some money to do this.

                      Is there anybody who would like to research this and write something
                      for Carfree Times?

                      Regards,




                      -- ### --

                      J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities
                      mailbox@... Carfree.com
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