Re: The World Is Not Arranged For My Convenience



This system looks affiliated with DC's Bikeshare program. Good stuff. I'm kind of surprised New York doesn't already have it. I thought you were supposed to lead the country in everything.

I'm not sure if I like NY's pricing scheme more or less than DC's. In DC it's a $75 annual membership, first half-hour is free, $1.50 for the first half-hour, and much more for longer periods. In NY it seems to be a $95 annual membership, first forty-five minutes is free, second half-hour is $2.50, and much, much more for longer periods. So I personally would pay more if DC simply had NY's pricing scheme because I almost never have a bike for more than half an hour, but maybe the geography of NY makes it more logical. Either way, these things are definitely for errands or commuting or getting directly from point A to point B, not for spending an afternoon touring.

As for letting 13-year-olds use it, I'm not sure. The FAQ says that members must be 16 and memberships aren't transferable, but if the system works at all the way DC's does, you could sign up in your own name, and you'd get a little key in the mail, and there would be nothing stopping you from giving it to Sally. It's not like there's an attendant checking IDs at the bike stations. (You also have to log in online to use the key and stuff, but anyways.)

Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 04-17-13 7:04 AM
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DC's is pretty popular, started as something only in the downtown core but is now spreading. Regular people use it.

You've probably considered and rejected buying a beater and seeing if there's a parking garage by the metro where you can store at a reasonable price.

Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 04-17-13 7:14 AM
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Oh, if the geography worked out, I'd totally be cheating and letting Sally use my key.

It really is a great system for NY -- there are all sorts of possible days where you're going point to point and different modes of transport make sense for different legs. The ability to make one-way bike trips will be a huge convenience. Just not for me.

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-17-13 7:29 AM
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2: The issue is the one-way thing. It's complicated to explain, but getting Sally to and from rugby would be way, way easier with a one-way bike leg on the trip.

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-17-13 7:30 AM
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New York doesn't already have it because the one factory that makes the bikes has limited capacity, and they couldn't make enough for the first rollout by last year. If Boston is anything to go by, the system will expand rapidly as they get more bikes online -- it's pretty easy to just drop down the stations. Last year they were adding stations pretty much the whole time, and this year there are already more than there were last year.

I don't use it that much, obviously, since I will mostly just bring my own bike if I'm riding somewhere, but we have used it, and it was pretty great. Also, the fact that they don't make you wear helmets strikes a wonderful blow for sensible thinking.

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-17-13 7:31 AM
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DC's system is very popular with tourists. I wonder if NYC will see the same thing.

Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 04-17-13 7:32 AM
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Boston's is surprisingly, impressively popular with commuters.

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-17-13 7:34 AM
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DC's system is very popular with tourists. I wonder if NYC will see the same thing.

The peculiar geography of DC's tourist attractions (several major monuments located a long way from the nearest Metro station at the periphery of a bike-friendly car-free environment) probably contributes to this. I'm not sure what the equivalent would be in NYC.

Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-17-13 7:55 AM
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I've been planning on trying out Hubway as my plan-B for getting to daycare at pick-up time if the subway gets stuck when my wife is on her way there (as happened yesterday). But I've been meaning to do a trial ride first (and bring my helmet in to the office). Also, from looking at the station near where I live on the way home, having it fill up and not being able to drop the bike off could be a real problem.

Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 04-17-13 8:01 AM
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It's interesting that they have such a high density of stations, but in such a limited area. (Not only nothing above the bottom of Central Park, there's also nothing near Prospect Park.) I assume that means that it's only the first stage of an eventually larger roll-out. It'll probably never be useful for you, but eventually there should be some stuff on the upper west and east sides and park slope.

Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 04-17-13 8:03 AM
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9: the live updating availability app is a big help.

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-17-13 8:08 AM
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Yeah, one-way trips are nice. This summer I'm probably going to buy a bike of my own because my office is moving further from any stations, but I'll probably keep the Bikeshare membership so I can take the metro more easily and don't have to leave my bike in bad neighborhoods and stuff.

Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 04-17-13 8:28 AM
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I'd love to see if there's a map of the ultimate plan. Up to 125th doesn't seem all that unlikely to me, catering to Columbia students, although it would be unsurprising if they went further north on the west side than the east, to only cater to Columbia students. And stations on Randalls Island, while I'm dreaming about them because they'd make my life easy, would actually be convenient for lots of people. It's 90 something athletic fields on an island with a bike-accessible footbridge but terrible public transportation -- most people drive now, but biking would be extremely practical.

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-17-13 9:13 AM
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Anyway, I just signed up. I figure that over the course of a year there'll be enough random reasons to want an impromptu bike downtown that it'll be worth it. But I remain dissatisfied.

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-17-13 9:43 AM
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It's interesting that they have such a high density of stations, butt in such a limited area.

This is generally how all share programs (car or bike) roll out, isn't it? To use it effectively, you need to know that you are always a 5 minute walk from a vehicle station or drop off zone.

Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 04-17-13 11:25 AM
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My humble burg tried a free Community Bike program, which was volunteer-based but with some city support. The volunteers were to supply and maintain the bikes through a still-existing Community Bike Shop, where one can go for free parts and instruction on fixing up a busted bike. They also have a bunch of busted bikes you can adopt, and it was from this supply of bikes (I think) they were furnishing the Community Bikes. The city, for its part, allowed/helped to install designated yellow bike racks at strategic locations in the city and on campus.

I'm not really sure how exactly it failed, but eventually there were no more yellow bikes, just sad, empty yellow bike racks. Tragedy of the commons something something.

Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-18-13 7:23 PM
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OT: I've complained before about how much I hate it when my workload consists of too many different tasks -- not the volume of work I need to get done, but the number of things to keep track of. The last couple of weeks have been horrific that way, and I am losing my freaking mind, and completely failing to get significant things done.

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-19-13 1:00 PM
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17: I'm right there with you: crushed beneath a mountain of disparate tasks. I find this kind of situation completely crippling and typically have a hard time putting one foot in front of the other, which only makes things worse. I need to engage in some clear-eyed triage, but even that feels overwhelming at the moment. Instead, I'm using up my blog commenting quota for the month.

Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 04-19-13 1:03 PM
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And while I'm complaining about this, I have actually screwed something up -- miscalendared a deadline on the thing I'm working on now. I could still get it out in time, but the client and my supervisor are going to want to kick it around extensively, which means getting an extension. Crap.

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-19-13 4:22 PM
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