NPR: Low-income riders are rare on bike share

Bike sharing systems are meant to make simple and practical transportation options available to more people, but rates of ridership among low-income users is incredibly low. According to Transportation Alternatives, only 0.5 percent of riders on New York’s CitiBike system are categorized as low-income.

[It] may have something do with where the docking stations are located. But the people who run these systems say they’re businesses. And they have to start where the demand for cycling is greatest. Paul DeMaio is a consultant who worked with Capital Bike Share in Washington, D.C.

Systems are forced to go for the low-hanging fruit — the neighborhoods that have the highest density of commercial, of residential. And that are gonna provide the most ridership to help pay for the service. And then hopefully catch up with the outlying neighborhoods as quickly as they can.

But it’s more than just location. Even when these stations are sited in low-income neighborhoods, they often go under-used. Partly, this may be about price. A typical bike-sharing membership costs somewhere between $60 and $100 a year. Many of these systems offer discounts for low-income riders, but they’re not always well-known or advertised.

Listen to or read the full story from NPR here.

 

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Bike Trains in LA on NPR

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NPR did a profile this past week about LA Bike Trains, a service that helps new cyclists feel more comfortable on the road by arranging commutes in groups. An experienced conductor leads the group along safe roads and the pack of cyclists inherently leads to more comfortable riders and better visibility.

Since launching L.A. Bike Trains in May with just a few routes and no budget, the system has grown to a dozen volunteer leaders, covering Los Angeles by bike by as much as 20 miles per trip each way, like the route from Silver Lake to Santa Monica.

Still, bike trains are far from seeing mass adoption.

Herbie Huff, a policy researcher at UCLA, says there are lots of obstacles to taking part in bike trains. Instead, Huff thinks infrastructure like bike lanes would be a bigger winner, or a concept like bike sharing could be an easier entry point.

“In order to go on the bike train, you need to already have made a commitment,” Huff says. “You need to already have a bike.”

Read more about Bike Trains here

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We went to the Philly Bike Expo and all we got was a really great time

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By Shannon Mominee

If you like custom frames, clever accessories, cool components, and good people the Philly Bike Expo is the place to be. Dennis Jordan of The Leather Arts Store displayed his handmade toptube leather wine bottle holsters, saddlebags, belts, and shoulder bags. Jeff Williams’ booth featured bike-themed paintings. A display of vintage Schwinn Paramount track and road bikes were on display across from a sprint competition sponsored by RELoad Bags.

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335 miles – 24 hours – 1 bike – 2 sore butts

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By Seth Gernot

It was the best of ideas, it was the worst of ideas. Well, at least it was an idea. Pictured above are two people that are having fun, right?

Fun isn’t the right word. It was a combination of fun, pain, and pain. We still can’t figure out who had the idea to ride to DC in 24 hours on a tandem…

The last you may have heard from us, Rebecca and I were poised for our trip. The support crew was ready, the gear was all set, and the weather was looking beautiful. The start was set for 7:30 a.m. at Point State Park in downtown Pittsburgh.

I don’t know about you, but I get pretty excited before big events. My inner child gets all wound up. Sometimes sleep is hard to come by when you’re on the precipice of something big. So, I figured drinking a single bottle of beer around 9 p.m. the night before would help usher in a couple of sinking eyelids.

Instead of grabbing a bottle opener I took a shortcut and popped the top off with my multi-tool. I’m not very good at this maneuver. Not very good at all. In fact, in one quick motion the cap flew off, the multi-tool broke the bottle, and the big knuckle on my right index finger drove into the newly shattered bottle. It was bad, quite bad. And the timing was awful. I needed sleep more than stitches. So, gauze and a duct tape was all that was used to stop the bleeding.

The next morning Rebecca inquired about the liberal use of duct tape on my now swollen hand. I admitted that the cut was pretty serious, but the show must go on. I decided then that a full-fingered glove would be placed over the hand and not removed until we reached Washington D.C.

As you can tell from the statements above, I am not a doctor. But, I can ride a bike and I’m kinda stubborn, so let’s continue and see what happened next.

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Proposed bike trails to connect 9/11 sites

On the twelfth anniversary of the terrorist attacks of 9/11, the September 11th National Memorial Trail Alliance is putting into action the plan to finish a series of bike paths connecting the cities where the planes crashed and the memorials to the victims.

According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Somerset County, Pa., has received $100,000 in grants to begin work to connect a path from Shanksville, Pa., where Flight 93 crashed, to the Great Allegheny Passage. The GAP trail, along with the C&O Canal Towpath, already connect Pittsburgh with Washington D.C. where Flight 77 struck the Pentagon.

From there the trail will extend up the East Coat Greenway, a long-term project to connect all the major cities on the East Coast with a traffic-free corridor.

The final leg, from New York to Shanksville will follow roads and rail trails through central Pennsylvania, though the exact route has not been decided.

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Film: ‘The Road From Karakol’—a bike, hike and mountaineering adventure

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In Summer of 2011, alpinist Kyle Dempster set out across Kyrgyzstan’s back roads on his bike. His goal – ride across the country via old Soviet roads while climbing as many of the region’s impressive peaks as possible. He was alone. He carried only a minimalist’s ration of climbing gear. Ten Kyrgyz words rounded out his vocabulary. He’d purchased his bike just weeks before and had never bike toured.

Upon arrival, Kyle found himself pulled into the Kyrgyz culture – heavy drinking, friendly curiosity and families carving existences out of yurts in the foothill. From his maps, he picked a circuitous path of back roads between the regions incredible mountains. When he arrived, he found that the roads had been abandoned. Crumbling roads led deeper into the heart the Kyrgyz wilderness before disappearing all together. After crossing a few rivers and nearly being swept away in the process, Dempster realized that his path back was blocked. He had to keep, pedaling, pushing and carrying his bike. It meant crossing rivers raging with summer snow melt and navigating game trails.

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