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Bike sharing in Pittsburgh

This topic contains 10 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  byogman 1 yr, 5 mos.

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gg

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Mar 11 2013 at 5:57pm #

http://www.wtae.com/news/local/Pittsburgh-announces-bicycle-sharing-program/-/9681086/19274212/-/yb649ez/-/index.html?absolute=true


dbacklover

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Mar 11 2013 at 7:03pm #

Very exciting, There have been plenty of times when I didnt bring my bike into work then wanted to head over to OTB or oakland and didnt. if I could hop on a bike and head to the southside and just lock bike back up in town when I rode back, that would be great.


gg

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Mar 11 2013 at 8:45pm #

Yeah, it is in a lot of cities. Pittsburgh is way behind on this one, but at least they are going to have it at some point. Guess there is a thread relating to it already, but maybe a new one since it is going to happen? Whatever. Seems pretty cliquish on here, but I digress.


cburch

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Mar 12 2013 at 11:13am #

not really way behind on this one. see scott’s rather impressive list of bike mecca’s that we are on par or ahead of on implementing a city wide share in the press conference.

also whats with the cheap parting shot about cliques? trolls will troll i guess.


Ahlir

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Mar 12 2013 at 12:06pm #

I’ve used share bikes in various cities. The one thing they have in common seems to be weight (heavy). Also, most of the cities in question have been more or less flat.

So I’m wondering how it’s going to work out in Pittsburgh, given the hills. I can see things working really well next to the rivers. But I’m curious about trips between there and the ‘plateau’. Specifically, someone in Oakland might readily hop on a bike to downtown, but maybe hop on a bus on the way back. So, lots of bikes downtown and maybe not so many uptown. I can see enforcing balance of the subscribers but that doesn’t sound like fun.


byogman

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Mar 12 2013 at 1:48pm #

That occurred to me, too, I just launched in a different direction on the other thread because of the cost per bike I thought was a bigger issue.

You can try and craft incentives here, know the altitude at each station and reward the climbers with partial credit off their reservation cost perhaps, but I kind of doubt the size of the incentive you could provide would really change behavior, unless people are putting these bikes on the buses they take back maybe.

More broadly applicable… uphills with lanes are vastly friendlier than uphills without. More uphill lanes… lots more uphill lanes, PLEASE. People gas out quickly if they’re feeling pressured beyond their capacity, which riding uphill on a busy roadway is a perfect prescription for.

But in the end, I think you just have to acknowledge that our bike transportation costs are going to be somewhat higher than in the flatter cities and adjust the pricing somewhat accordingly.


Vannevar

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Mar 12 2013 at 3:04pm #

In cities that have an inbalance in natural BikeShare flow, there’s vans and trucks that circulate the bikes.


Vannevar

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Mar 12 2013 at 3:24pm #

Kind of interesting: discussion of rates and procedures for BikeShareCleveland at

http://www.bikesharecleveland.com/what-is-bike-sharing/


StuInMcCandless

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Mar 17 2013 at 10:03am #

There’d be a lot less overhead with a motorcycle pulling a trailer designed to hold three or four bicycles, rather than a van. I suppose they need one van, but could get away with the m/c to move a couple, which I suspect would be the more common situation. But I defer to the experts, who I’m sure have thought about this before. OTOH, maybe I can plant a seed in the experts’ heads.


Val

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Mar 17 2013 at 7:15pm #

Here’s a thought… what are the impacts going to be on ‘regular’ cyclists (using their own bikes) when using the transit system? I’m thinking most folks using these loaners will be pedaling but given the number of program bikes, human nature and number of racks on buses, I’d almost have to think at some point, it might become difficult to catch a bus with your bike, at least when you’re in town. Thoughts?


byogman

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Mar 17 2013 at 8:42pm #

Stu, certainly no expert, but will share my 2c. I think it’s a bad idea. The major overhead in bike redistribution is going to be personnel. You certainly don’t have to go crazy on a vehicle just to tow a trailer with some bikes, but if your vehicle isn’t up to towing a trailer that handles peak realistic redistribution needs, then you’re going to be increasing the larger part of your overhead (person time) to try and reduce your smaller part of your overhead (higher cost gas and otherwise on a heavier vehicle). In some scenarios the numbers still work, but most of the time not.

But there’s another, more compelling reason. You want happy employees. There’s a lot that goes into that, but not wasting their time is an obvious first step I’d be loathe to try and weigh trading off against anything else. Unhappy employees can be an expensive problem, especially when you’ve trusted them with your primary system assets.

Bikes on buses in bikeshare world. Well first off, pet peeve of mine that bikes are mounted on the buses as is, with fold up/down, and the inner slot being harder for shorter/lower upper body strength cyclists to use. They should be mounted parallel to the lane rather than perpendicular so you can easily fit a bunch side by side. They should also be mounted a bit lower than currently so there’s less lifting need.

But anyways, how the bikeshare impacts bus rack availability I think will somewhat depend on whether most bike stations are close to bus stops. Especially if the billing /timing structure on usage encourages early return, it may not make much difference, but if you change either element in that equation, yes, it could make a big difference. Something to watch out for.

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