Yellow Bike Programs: How Are They Doing?



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Steve McDonald

Guest
I don't live in a Yellow Bike city, as most people have their own here. But, in the many cities that
have started these free, borrow-a-bike programs, how are they getting along? I would hope they have
expanded and gained more financial support.

I think I know where the Yellow Bike concept originated. In a remote part of Mongolia, there is
a large valley that is home to the only species and population of truly wild horses. The people
that live there are peaceful vegetarians and have never killed, harrassed or captivated these
horses. But, they have worked out a very effective, symbiotic relationship with them. Just like
with a Yellow Bike, if a person wants to travel some distance in the valley, they put a handful
of grain in a pocket and approach a horse. The horse is unafraid and gets some sweet talk and
ear scratching. The person then mounts the horse bareback and is carried to the desired
destination. After dismounting, the person feeds the grain to the horse. This equine taxi
system has existed as long as people and horses have been here and both sides seem quite
pleased with the arrangement.

Steve McDonald
 
Z

Zoot Katz

Guest
Tue, 18 Feb 2003 23:48:31 -0800 (PST), <[email protected]>,
[email protected] (Steve McDonald) wrote:

> I don't live in a Yellow Bike city, as most people have their own here. But, in the many
> cities that have started these free, borrow-a-bike programs, how are they getting along? I
> would hope they have expanded and gained more financial support.

The "yellow and purple bike" program at UBC is in its fifth year and still going strong. It's
supported by the Alma Mater Society and other donations. There's almost 300 bikes in the fleet now.
--
zk
 
N

nospam

Guest
Where I live, the city is sponsoring such a program. The bikes have electric assist and are
appreantly very nice to ride. I wouldn't know as most of the time I see them locked up in bagel and
coffee shops in the back. Seems the delivery guys think these bikes are "theirs" and keep them for
themselves. I thought the whole idea was for EVERRYONE to get to use these. I don't know what the
answer to this is, whether to fine people using them for commercial usage or to just get more bikes.
 
M

Mike Jacoubowsk

Guest
> Where I live, the city is sponsoring such a program. The bikes have
electric
> assist and are appreantly very nice to ride. I wouldn't know as most of
the
> time I see them locked up in bagel and coffee shops in the back. Seems the delivery guys think
> these bikes are "theirs" and keep them for themselves.
I
> thought the whole idea was for EVERRYONE to get to use these. I don't know what the answer to this
> is, whether to fine people using them for commercial usage or to just get more bikes.

Part of the answer is to name the city, and properly expose the problem to the light of day.

If I were in charge of such a program, and the bikes were supposed to be freely available for anyone
to use at any time, I'd make sure the police have bolt cutters and liberate every one they find
locked up. Leave the bike there, but at least someone's out the price of a lock. Eventually they'll
get the message.

--Mike-- Chain Reaction Bicycles http://www.ChainReactionBicycles.com

<[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
> Where I live, the city is sponsoring such a program. The bikes have
electric
> assist and are appreantly very nice to ride. I wouldn't know as most of
the
> time I see them locked up in bagel and coffee shops in the back. Seems the delivery guys think
> these bikes are "theirs" and keep them for themselves.
I
> thought the whole idea was for EVERRYONE to get to use these. I don't know what the answer to this
> is, whether to fine people using them for commercial usage or to just get more bikes.
 
Z

Zoot Katz

Guest
Fri, 21 Feb 2003 08:20:47 -0700, <[email protected]>, <[email protected]> wrote:

>Fort Collins, Colorado
>

http://www.ci.fort-collins.co.us/bicycling/freewheels.php

"Businesses who want to participate in our "yellow bikes" program - some equipped with electric
assist motors - commit to using the bicycles for errands, deliveries, traveling to and from meetings
- short trips that pollute the most and are the easiest to accomplish on a bicycle"

From the way it sounds, Rocky Mountain Bagel Works is one of the businesses committed to the
"Freewheels" program and are therefore entitled to use these electric bicycles for deliveries.
--
zk
 
D

Dave Mausner

Guest
northwestern university (chicago area) had a purple bike program in the early seventies. every
single one of the 100 purple bikes disappeared from circulation within a few days and were never
seen again. the program was never repeated.

--
Dave Mausner / v.+1-708-848-2775 / f.+1-708-848-2569 / c.+1-312-wake-my-i

"Steve McDonald" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...
>
> I don't live in a Yellow Bike city, as most people have their own here. But, in the many
> cities that have started these free, borrow-a-bike programs, how are they getting along? I
> would hope they have expanded and gained more financial support.
 
N

nospam

Guest
> "Businesses who want to participate in our "yellow bikes" program - some equipped with electric
> assist motors - commit to using the bicycles for errands, deliveries, traveling to and from
> meetings - short trips that pollute the most and are the easiest to accomplish on a bicycle"
>
> From the way it sounds, Rocky Mountain Bagel Works is one of the businesses committed to the
> "Freewheels" program and are therefore entitled to use these electric bicycles for deliveries.

My bad. I guess I shoulda read the official line. I stand corrected. Still, when I talk to people
about the yellow bikes, the general opinion is that they can never find one available. I did see ONE
the other day, and was wondering where the person was going. Would like to try one eventually.
 
Z

Zoot Katz

Guest
Fri, 21 Feb 2003 21:18:20 -0700, <[email protected]>, <[email protected]> wrote:

>> "Businesses who want to participate in our "yellow bikes" program - some equipped with electric
>> assist motors - commit to using the bicycles for errands, deliveries, traveling to and from
>> meetings - short trips that pollute the most and are the easiest to accomplish on a bicycle"
>>
>> From the way it sounds, Rocky Mountain Bagel Works is one of the businesses committed to the
>> "Freewheels" program and are therefore entitled to use these electric bicycles for deliveries.
>
>My bad. I guess I shoulda read the official line. I stand corrected. Still, when I talk to people
>about the yellow bikes, the general opinion is that they can never find one available. I did see
>ONE the other day, and was wondering where the person was going. Would like to try one eventually.
>

Maybe connect with city hall to find out more.

The "yellow and purple" bike program at UBC requires you get a key for the bikes which are secured
with identically keyed locks. To get a key you become a member of the co-op which maintains the
bikes. You can become a member by making a donation or volunteering.
--
zk
 
N

Nospam

Guest
> The "yellow and purple" bike program at UBC requires you get a key for the bikes which are secured
> with identically keyed locks. To get a key you become a member of the co-op which maintains the
> bikes. You can become a member by making a donation or volunteering.

Now that makes total sense. I would definitely help a program like this by volunteering my time or
some cash.
 
B

Brian Huntley

Guest
Zoot Katz wrote:

>
> The "yellow and purple" bike program at UBC requires you get a key for the bikes which are secured
> with identically keyed locks. To get a key you become a member of the co-op which maintains the
> bikes. You can become a member by making a donation or volunteering.

That's how the Toronto one works - $25 a year, or 4 hours work. I'm not sure about the keyed-alike
locks part, though. There's about 10-12 pickup spots for the bikes, mostly in the west end of
downtown, and I see the bikes in use all the time.
 
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