PDA

View Full Version : Tourists Like Bikeshare



acc
07-13-2011, 12:50 PM
I took Spartacus down to the Potomac today and chatted with several tourists using Bikeshare. I was asking for directions, but that's irrelevant to this story. After I yanked their map away, I politely inquired about their Bikeshare experience. "Oh my, it's quite lovely. We have seen four times as much on these bikes compared to walking." "I couldn't walk another day, my blisters are terrible." "I love these bikes."

Then I asked them if they had any problems with the system or the way it works. "Oh my, I wish I could rent a helmet. I'd feel much safer but I guess that's not very practical." "Ooohh, I really wish I could rent a lock for it, that way I could take it further."

Disclaimer: I am only the messenger. I have absolutely no skin in the game and have no need to get involved in Bikeshare. Already had an earful of gibberish from a Senior Member on this forum who will go unnamed, Mark Blacknell about why neither of these suggestions are viable.

Happy Touristing,

ann

Mark Blacknell
07-13-2011, 08:24 PM
I was asking for directions

Welcome to Washington, DC, acc.


"Oh my, I wish I could rent a helmet. I'd feel much safer but I guess that's not very practical."

It's not impractical, but somewhat awkward and probably more expensive than folks might imagine. There's just no practical way to share helmets (and seriously, would anyone - and look at all these sweaty disgusting people around you in DC right now - want to *share* a helmet?). So the alternative is cheap vending. That's been the solution (well, attempted solution) in Melbourne, AUS, where helmets are mandatory. Hasn't been working out all that well.


"Ooohh, I really wish I could rent a lock for it, that way I could take it further."

That's understandable, but CaBi's not really meant for day long rentals. Aside from it being cheaper to just rent for the day from some place like Revolution Cycle's City HUB or Bike and Roll, CaBi's model relies upon people using the bikes for short trips. Get it, use it, dock it. That way one bike can serve more people throughout the day.

jrenaut
07-13-2011, 08:40 PM
Melbourne is one of my favorite cities in the world. I didn't realize helmets were mandatory there, as I didn't try to bike, but it does appear to be a very bike-friendly city.

I like that the tourists are taking longer trips - it definitely helps CaBi earn some money. I think the positive externalities are worth operating it at a loss, but that doesn't mean that I WANT it operating at a loss.

But this means that the city needs to work out this National Park Service exclusive contract crap so that they can put CaBi stations on The Mall and other prime locations where they currently can't. It would also be nice to get more signs pointing out attractions that are easily accessible by bike. I got stopped by a large group of CaBi tourists at Hains Point asking me where a particular road went, and I had no idea. They seemed to be having a ball on the bikes.

acc
07-13-2011, 08:55 PM
Welcome to Washington, DC, acc.



It's not impractical, but somewhat awkward and probably more expensive than folks might imagine. There's just no practical way to share helmets (and seriously, would anyone - and look at all these sweaty disgusting people around you in DC right now - want to *share* a helmet?). So the alternative is cheap vending. That's been the solution (well, attempted solution) in Melbourne, AUS, where helmets are mandatory. Hasn't been working out all that well.



That's understandable, but CaBi's not really meant for day long rentals. Aside from it being cheaper to just rent for the day from some place like Revolution Cycle's City HUB or Bike and Roll, CaBi's model relies upon people using the bikes for short trips. Get it, use it, dock it. That way one bike can serve more people throughout the day.

I swear it's exactly like talking to a hamster except the hamster has cuter fur. May I state for the record, this is entirely out of my experience zone but I think the tourists have a point. Helmets can and are rented all the time in the skateboard world. (Mr. Blacknell it's a board with four wheels, very low to the ground, goes very fast. Their Lance Armstrong is Tony Hawk but without the unsavory allegations.) Stands at tourist attractions would be great, convenient, and oh my god I can't believe I'm saying this -- green.

Now please point me in the direction of Hains Point, I hear they have a band of Bib Short Tribesmen I need to gawk at.

ann

PotomacCyclist
07-14-2011, 10:45 PM
Welcome to Washington, DC, acc.

Actually, wasn't acc asking the tourists for directions?

KLizotte
07-14-2011, 11:16 PM
But this means that the city needs to work out this National Park Service exclusive contract crap so that they can put CaBi stations on The Mall and other prime locations where they currently can't. It would also be nice to get more signs pointing out attractions that are easily accessible by bike. I got stopped by a large group of CaBi tourists at Hains Point asking me where a particular road went, and I had no idea. They seemed to be having a ball on the bikes.

The biggest problem with the Mall right now is its popularity, esp now that summer is here. I ride the Mall every day on my commute and dodging peds is a real challenge. It would be super helpful if the NPS would install (or paint existing pathways) cycleways with "no peds allowed" signs; that way, peds and cyclists could largely avoid one another. Without some "traffic management" I fear adding CaBi stations will just exacerbate the current congestion.

jrenaut
07-15-2011, 08:44 AM
The biggest problem with the Mall right now is its popularity, esp now that summer is here. I ride the Mall every day on my commute and dodging peds is a real challenge. It would be super helpful if the NPS would install (or paint existing pathways) cycleways with "no peds allowed" signs; that way, peds and cyclists could largely avoid one another. Without some "traffic management" I fear adding CaBi stations will just exacerbate the current congestion.

My point about CaBi on the Mall is that it's really hard to get down there now - public transportation doesn't really get you that close to a lot of the attractions, and parking sucks. But I hear you about The Mall - even just dodging the jaywalkers on 7th NW is a PITA.

PotomacCyclist
07-15-2011, 09:19 AM
The biggest problem with the Mall right now is its popularity, esp now that summer is here. I ride the Mall every day on my commute and dodging peds is a real challenge. It would be super helpful if the NPS would install (or paint existing pathways) cycleways with "no peds allowed" signs; that way, peds and cyclists could largely avoid one another. Without some "traffic management" I fear adding CaBi stations will just exacerbate the current congestion.
Jefferson and Madison Drives are good east-west routes on the eastern half of the Mall. Slower traffic than on Independence and Constitution Ave. without too many jaywalkers.

acc
07-15-2011, 10:43 AM
My point about CaBi on the Mall is that it's really hard to get down there now - public transportation doesn't really get you that close to a lot of the attractions, and parking sucks. But I hear you about The Mall - even just dodging the jaywalkers on 7th NW is a PITA.

I agree. I love a good walk, especially as a way to explore a city but the stroll from the Capitol past the Lincoln Memorial is more like a hike. On a bike that would be fun. It would be faster and I'd hear less whining and complaining about the heat and humidity. Plus I could indulge in a guilty pleasure/flirtation with death and eat a hot dog off one of the hot dog carts.

I love tourists,
ann