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

jb fentner symboliceon at hotmail.com
Sun Aug 16 02:56:46 EDT 2009

I'm not sure if it's inspiring or annoying when I refuse to not ride no matter what the conditions are. I still think more of us should do it just to make a few folks aware of the fact that biking isn't just for when it's nice out.

From: leepeters at gis.net
To: list at bostoncriticalmass.org
Date: Sat, 15 Aug 2009 10:02:13 -0400
Subject: Re: [*BCM*] boston's bike sharing program (BIXI)

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

      For anyone that has not yet had enough:


        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 

        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 


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

          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 
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 
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 

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

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

            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.

            Critical Mass mailing list
list at bostoncriticalmass.org
            unsubscribe email list-unsubscribe at bostoncriticalmass.org

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

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

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