[*BCM*] boston's bike sharing program (BIXI)

Lee Peters leepeters at gis.net
Sat Aug 15 10:02:13 EDT 2009


Wondering how this may be VERY useful for bicycle owners?  Well, many don't like to ride in the rain because it can ruin clothing.  Imagine those mornings when it is pouring outside and you have to take the mbta; leaving the bike at home.   When it is time to go back home 12 hours later, the weather is likely to have changed for the better.  Instead of taking the T back, just borrow a public bicycle and get yourself back to that T stop near home.

This is encouraging.

(ps all you bikers who ride in the rain, good - but don't bother telling us how good you are - we already know)

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Peter 
  To: Boston Critical Mass 
  Sent: Saturday, August 15, 2009 9:40 AM
  Subject: Re: [*BCM*] boston's bike sharing program (BIXI)

        For anyone that has not yet had enough:


        An article on "Velib", the Paris version.  From pg 4:  I ask Valeau his advice for Boston. "The first key is the density of the network," he says. "It must cover the whole city, not just the city center, with a station every 250 meters. The second key is you must have good prices -- very, very cheap. The third key is the promotion of the service -- the city must be very politically involved and committed to its success. The fourth key is the quality of the bicycles and the station equipment. They will be used 10 times a day by different customers: novice, expert, fat, very slim, tall, and short. Last but perhaps most important is the quality of service and repair."

        Something is better than nothing but none of the press releases give any indication that any of these conditions for sucess will be present.  I ride my own so would not be a user but, again, more bikes is better.

        --- On Sat, 8/15/09, Anne Wolfe <goannego at gmail.com> wrote:

          From: Anne Wolfe <goannego at gmail.com>
          Subject: Re: [*BCM*] boston's bike sharing program (BIXI)
          To: "Boston Critical Mass" <list at bostoncriticalmass.org>
          Date: Saturday, August 15, 2009, 3:20 AM

          It is a tough call.  Do you want a biking program at all or one that isn't sponsored by companies you dislike (which unfortunately for us as a society are the ones most likely to have the money?)  You say you'd prefer a biking program that doesn't have the sponsorship, but there still to be a biking program, and it runs into the age old "who's going to pay for it?" issue.  And no one ever wants it to come out of their pocket.  As much as I'm opposed to the war in Iraq, I don' t have the power to go back and re-allocate that money.  

          All things being considered, I'm glad we have a biking program coming in.  If you don't like who pays for it, then protest, but if your protest means that people don't bike and instead use cars, you've got to live with that as well.  So what are you going to do???

          2009/8/15 Jym Dyer <jym at econet.org>

            > It is good for tourist use, but I think it also could be
            > good for short pre/post subway trips.

            =v= The name "BIXI" is a combination of bicycle + taxi, and
            they're trying to market it as an alternative to the kind
            of trip you might otherwise take in a taxi.

            =v= In addition to Montreal, bike-sharing schemes have been
            a success in many European locations, presumably replacing
            many motorized vehicle trips.  The first such system in this
            country is Washington D.C.'s "SmartBike" (which is run by
            Clear Channel), but I think it's too soon to tell how well
            it's working there yet.

            > The thing that worries me the most about this not working,
            > is just the brutal, fuck-everyone vandalism impulse.  People
            > can be dicks.

            =v= J.C. Decaux, who operates the Paris bike-share, reported
            a very high rate of vandalism and theft, but it turned out
            that they were overstating things because they wanted the city
            to pay them more money than agreed upon.  There are also some
            people in Barcelona who believe the city government is taking
            away free bike parking and other amenities for bicyclists to
            make room for their bike share, so they've done some vandalism
            in the form of protest graffiti.

            =v= My main issue with BIXI is with one of their sponsors.  The
            aluminum for the bikes' frames comes from the mining company Rio
            Tinto, whose company logo is emblazoned right on the handlebars
            so you can stare at it the entire time you're riding the bike.
            Frame material product placement is very unusual, but I suppose
            Rio Tinto needs some heavy-duty greenwash.  They do everything
            from stripmining to rainforest destruction to pushing for
            increased proliferation of nuclear power.  Greenpeace has had
            to put pressure on them for years.

               I guess they'd rather be associated with biking, at least
            in the public mind.

            =v= For once I'd like a bike-sharing program that isn't
            sponsored by a destructive company.  J.C. Decaux is notorious
            for their intrusions on liveable space.  Clear Channel promotes
            oil wars and has morning drive-time DJs who like to joke about
            hurting and killing bicyclists.

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          Anne M. Wolfe, LL.M.
          Mobile: ( 07805) 456901

          Be well, do good work, and keep in touch. - Garrison Keillor

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