Bike Sharing Programs And Their Users

Discussion in 'The Bike Cafe' started by oam3292, Jul 15, 2015.

  1. oam3292

    oam3292 New Member

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    Cycling as a lifestyle is being promoted in many American urban centers as a means to achieve a healthy and sustainable way of life. In response to this growing interest, Bike sharing programs have popped up, such as Hubway in Boston. Users register, and are able to rent bicycles to use at their leisure. However there really is no vetting process (should there be?) as to the quality of their riding ability. Ive observed the users informally, and usually they differ greatly from the average biker (messenger, roadie, commuter) in that they are way more complacent and lax about their surroundings and expected behavior when biking. Biking is an inherently dangerous activity, so to suddenly flood a city with amateurish riders is asking for trouble. I commute everyday on a bike, and I always hate the seasonal influxes of hubway "noobs" since they are a hindrance and a potential liability if users do not abide by the rules of the road or park systems. Was wondering what others' experiences were with this group of bicyclists.
     
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  2. Susimi

    Susimi Well-Known Member

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    I haven't seen this sort of system much over here. The only places I've seen it has been at cycloparks and in holiday destinations where you hire a bike and ride for as much as you're allowed with how much you paid for.

    If it was bought in much more I doubt it would make much difference, not in London anyway as that place has a lot of cyclists and some of them are idiots. I saw one once run a red light and nearly ram into my car.
     
  3. Keyan

    Keyan Member

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    I think there should be some sort of a reminder or briefing provided to these people who would rent them. Some protective gears should come with the bikes too to prevent harm. What sort of bikes are you referring to by the way? I personally think that the gravity of the possible danger is not as grave as one might think.
     
  4. roadtrip

    roadtrip New Member

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    I have not seen any bike sharing programs implemented in my area. I do think though that first time users, should be prepped about road safety. As Keyan said, protective gears should be available too, although I think potential users should be able to secure their own safety gear.

    Another source of concern for me is that frequency of bike maintenance. In you experience, have you observed or asked the people involved if they conduct regular maintenance checks on the bikes they rent out? Considering the volume of people who may be using these bikes, these vehicles may be subjected to more frequent wear and tear. Problems left addressed could be another reason for accidents.
     
  5. Sunflogun

    Sunflogun Member

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    In my city a bike sharing program is about to be created and I find that great, I mean, what's better than riding a bike?
     
  6. pwarbi

    pwarbi Well-Known Member

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    In the city I live there's already a program up and running but it's not that popular to be honest. I don't know if it's because people are just too set in their way's or if it's just too much effort. Having said that, it's not been running that long and this time of year probably wasn't the right kind of weather to launch the scheme in the first place to be honest.
     
  7. Susimi

    Susimi Well-Known Member

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    It may be down to people already set in their ways. Give it a year and it may have become more popular.

    I know that London is now running an electric bike sharing scheme that surprisingly is proving to be a little more popular than I thought it would be,. But whether it's just propaganda or not I don't know.
     
  8. Damien Lee

    Damien Lee Active Member

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    I haven't come across any bike sharing schemes down here in South Africa. Perhaps they can be found in more cosmopolitan and progressive cities like Cape Town, but I doubt this will ever become the norm in other places. I know cyclists here tend to be too attached to their bikes to share them with anyone. However, it's a great idea and I'm hoping that this takes off in more places.
     
  9. cycle93

    cycle93 Member

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    I don't know really about bike sharing programs, but sharing something that's firstly quite pricey and then again it should be a responsible relationship between sharing pairs or buddies.
     
  10. sunshiney

    sunshiney Member

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    It sounds like an awesome idea at first, but like other posters I'm skeptical about the actual implementation. I feel like a lot of people would abide by the honor system as far as taking care of the bike they're using, but you can't really rely on that. There are too many entitled people out there who don't care about messing things up for someone else, and I can imagine a lot of bikes getting trashed or stolen or just abandoned somewhere.

    There's no way of vetting whether someone is experienced enough to commute or cycle on the road either, which is kind of worrisome. Obviously that stuff is pretty self explanatory, but it can be scary and disorienting riding with traffic when you aren't used to it, which could lead to problems.
     
  11. pwarbi

    pwarbi Well-Known Member

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    When it comes to these bike sharing schemes, I hadn't even thought about the condition of the bike to be honest, but like others have said, just because you'll look after it doesn't mean the last person to use it did.

    I'd imagine they'd have to be checked on a regular basis but even so, you could be more at risk using one of these rather than just buying and using your own.
     
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