Posts Tagged ‘bikeshare’

Bay Area Bike Share: Just Two Stars on Yelp? – How Much Do Tourists Pay for Their Leisurely Trips Out to Ocean Beach?

Friday, October 31st, 2014

The thing about Bay Area Bike Share is that the bikes aren’t good and they cost a lot of money to rent. This is by design. (Part of it has to do with the govmint not wanting to get static from all those companies what rent normal bikes to tourists.)

Now, are there any BABS stations anywhere near the west si-iiiide of town? No, not even close.

So these people, who made it all the way Way Out West, to the farthest reaches of SF County, what are they thinking? Are they thinking, “Hey, we’re paying $28 an hour for our bikes – let’s hang out and have a picnic?” Nope. They’re thinking, “We’re paying $18 to rent these bikes all day long.”

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IDK. I’m sure BABS knows, but they’re not saying. Perhaps they go easy on the tourists and give a partial refund when somebody faces a $100 rental bill.

Or maybe the tourists think, “Oh, I got a bike for the next three days and it will cost just $22 – America, What A Country?”

As seen, later on, on the western reaches of JFK Drive, pushing the old ball and chain back up through the miles it will take to get back to the nearest station:

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Poor tourists!

And the workers get paid close to minimum wage? And some out of state company will end up making millions or tens of millions of dollars off of this program? If you approve of BABS, with all its issues, then you’d approve of any possible bike program that could be dreamed up by anybody. I minimize the cost to myself by never ever using it – that way, these people only get my tax money and not any of my after-tax take-home pay.

Why not instead just buy bikes with the same amount of tax money, you know, bikes that are twice as good and ten times cheaper and then simply give them away? I’m srsly.

Oh, you’re happy because more people are riding bikes? Well, walking’s good too, right?

I can understand how this program might benefit a small number of people* on a daily basis, but I don’t think the cost is justified. At all.

This is what I’m talking about:

“Let me start by saying, I had a blast when riding these bikes. We rented 6 bikes and rode them for hours. We were charged $80 per bike, so $160 per credit card as you can only rent 2 bikes per card. They DO NOT explain very clearly that you pay $9 for the day but you have to have it docked every 30 minutes or they charge you more. We called and emailed and explained everything to them (they are used to people complaining about this) they sent us a very mean email telling us that it’s our fault that we didn’t read their deceptive instructions correctly. Then have us 25% back to shut us up. What a Bay Area bike share scam! I give it 1 star as it was a blast of a day but not worth it overall. Will NEVER use again and tell EVERYONE about this horrible experience.”

“Please do yourself a favor and don’t use Bay Area Bike Share. It’s a total rip off. Husband and I paid $68 to ride these heavy, hard to use bikes for 2.5 hours. Also, customer service is a joke. They don’t care one bit, as they are truly scammers. They make it seem like you’re paying $9 for a 24-hour period. NOT TRUE. Completely misleading.”

And here’s a sample from the Yelp posts what got taken down – see if you can get the gist of Yukiko N’s beef against BABS:

“With the help 24 hours , is a place of $9 , to see the credit card debit of after one month and $ 158 in ! Many times , and also contact us by e-mail address , one week Nashinotsubute . When the phone , $ 9 in membership , ridiculous that the use of more than one hour is considered overtime answer ! Absolutely not recommended.” 

Capturedfsffff

That’s just a taste. Read on and on to see why the Yelp rating is so so low….

Oh well.

*People who should prolly just buy a bike and learn how to take care of it and then ride it around.

Lost Tourist Takes His $1200 Bay Area Bike Share Bicycle Miles Away from Nearest Station – A $13 Joyride?

Monday, November 11th, 2013

Did Dude come up Pine Street to get to the Inner Richmond? Sure looks that way.

That means he’s spending $13 minimum for this joyride.

I mean, that’s prolly more than I’ve spent on BABS so far. (Now how much are we spending on this program per person? I have no idea.)

Anyway, this is the farthest west I’ve seen one of these rides:

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How an Outsider Views San Francisco’s Stolen Bike Lifestyle – Buying a Hot Ride at 7th and Market – Also, a BikeShare Station in the Twitterloin?

Wednesday, August 28th, 2013

This account of a journalist buying a stolen bike in the heart of Mayor Ed Lee’s gritty Twitterloin district isn’t new, but it’s new to me, so there you go.

Via Patrick Symms:

“Over the years, SFPD Sergeant McCloskey had launched dozens of stakeouts, stings, and reverse stings against bike thieves in the city’s Tenderloin District, becoming a legendary Lone Ranger in the bike wars, a one-man encyclopedia of cycle crime. He once spent an hour telling me his favorite techniques for catching thieves. The best spot was the San Francisco Public Library’s main branch, a few steps from Market Street. “We took a nice Cannondale and locked it to the bike rack there, set up a robbery detail, and watched the guys stealing the bikes,” he explained. “It worked really well. They’re very slick. They ride up on their own bike, park next to it. They have bolt cutters on a shoelace around their neck and lean down to cut it. They’re very fast. We did this successfully more than 20 times. We’ve only been skunked once. About 90 percent of the people we get are drug addicts, meth heads. Speeders, we call them.

In Portland, Joe Luiz had confessed that he’d never quite figured out where all the bikes were going, but in San Francisco this wasn’t an issue. Stolen bikes were for sale, openly, at Market and 7th, a block from where Sergeant McCloskey got so many stolen. 

I’d come to San Francisco for a funeral—my father-in-law had passed away. I drove downtown to pick up his ashes and, combining two errands into one, drove down Market Street to buy a stolen bike. I parked and walked to the corner of 7th, where there was an open-air market in fenced goods, from canned food to blue jeans to batteries.

The hot-bike market in downtown San Francisco was shameless, a disgrace to the city. But it wasn’t the Bay Area’s only dubious bicycle venue. The Alameda flea market was notorious for recycling stolen bikes, and in Golden Gate Park there was a chop shop where amateur mechanics swapped components and resold stolen bikes for profit.”

In related news:

city bike share at 7th and Market

Here it is, brand-new:

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Prediction: This station will be difficult and expensive to maintain. (Of course, the people behind Bay Area BikeShare already know this. And yet, they will be surprised by what will occur in this area. You’ll see.)

 

OMG, the City of Pasadena is Selling Folding Bikes for Just $215? Isn’t This Program Better Than the SFMTA’s Bike Share?

Monday, June 3rd, 2013

Word comes from the San Francisco Examiner’s Mike Billings of the City of Santa Monica’s new FoldnGo program.

So, Pasadenians will be able to buy a small Dahon folding bike for $214.99?

Isn’t this a lot cheaper, you know, per bike, than the SFMTA’s / BAAQMD’s expensive bike sharing scheme?

Hell yes. Plus, you, Fellow San Franciscan, end up with a bicycle of your own.

Hey, where’s my almost-free Dahon bike, SFMTA? 

You know who’s excited about Pasadena already? Dahon Girl 2009, that’s who:

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Oh, what’s that, giving away bicycles ala Santa Monica is NOT a jobs program? Because most of the money would necessarily go into bikes instead of salaries and benefits and pensions?

And the  SFMTA is really an employment agency instead of the (very slow, slowest in America) transit agency it claims to be?

Oh, so I guess, for that reason, we won’t be getting a Pasadena-style program up here in the 415.

‘Cause I’ll tell you, SF’s new bikeshare program is of zero interest to me, as a supposed user. And I’ll tell you, most of the money for San Francisco’s bike share program will end up paying the employees instead of paying for the large, heavy, expensive, undesirable equipment for the program.

Last time I checked. the San Francisco Fire Department spends 91% of its budget on salaries / related expenses and just 9% on equipment. Will our bike share program end up with that kind of percentage  after it ends? We’ll see.

Of course, when you’re giving away or heavily subsidizing  a bike program as Pasadena  is doing, you’re going to run into corruption and fraud type of problems.

But guess what, we going to have these issues* with Alta Bicycle Share in our taxpayer-funded program as well.

So what’s the diff?**

Oh well.

*And vandalism. Don’t forget about theft and vandalism. Oh, you have the GPS to fight theft? Guess what, it’s sending out its signal from, say, underneath Pier 2. Who’s going to fish it out? We’ll see.

**One big diff will be that any issues anyone has about the bike share program will be met with a pitch for more money. More and more and more money.  

Meet Your San Francisco Bike Sharing Program – 500 Bicycles and 50 Stations Coming Next Year to FiDi, SoMA, Civic Center

Tuesday, July 26th, 2011

I guess they have the money now and they’re working on figuring out who’s going to run the thing.

Appears as if the SFMTA has given up on a giant Parisian Velib-style program with 5000 bikes strewn all over town – they’re starting small. Regardless, some of this free advice still applies.

The deets:

“…the pilot service area will be centered in San Francisco’s employment- and transit-rich Downtown/SOMA corridor between the Financial District, Market Street and the Transbay and Caltrain terminals.  This area is notably flat, has the densest bikeway network coverage in San Francisco and enjoys the highest levels of cycling, yet those who commute by transit from cities to the east and south encounter difficulties bringing a bicycle with them on BART or Caltrain.”

El Mapa:

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So the stations might end up looking a little half-assed, owing to CEQA:

“Heath Maddox, senior planner for the Livable Streets Subdivision of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), says the defining characteristics of the service they’ve outlined in an RFP draft is that the bike system be solar-powered with no need for external AC power and no requirement for excavation that would turn the installation process into a construction project.”

Remember, sharing is caring.

All the deets:

“The map of the pilot service area presents northeast San Francisco. The highlighted area in the map is the bicycle sharing pilot service area bound by South Van Ness Avenue and the Ferry Terminal along Market Street. To the north, the service area boundary includes the Federal Building at Turk Street, Union Square at Post Street, the Broadway and Columbus Avenue intersection, and The Embarcadero at Sansome Street. To the south, the highlighted service area includes the Embarcadero to Mission Bay, Townsend Street and Concourse Exhibition Center.”

Bike Sharing

Bike sharing is coming to San Francisco! A regional pilot program led by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) in partnership with the SFMTA will bring approximately 50 bike share stations and 500 bikes to San Francisco’s downtown core beginning in spring 2012. The SFMTA is working with a regional team to implement this pilot along the Caltrain corridor in San Francisco, Mountain View, Palo Alto, Redwood City and San Jose and shown in this Regional Bike Sharing System map. The project is funded through a combination of local, regional and federal grants with major funding coming from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission’s Innovative Bay Area Climate Initiatives Grant Program (BACI).

What is bike sharing?

Similar to car sharing, bicycle sharing is a term used to describe a membership-based system of short-term bicycle rental.  Members can check a bicycle out from a network of automated bicycle stations, ride to their destination, and return the bicycle to a different station.  Bicycle sharing is enjoying a global explosion in growth with the development of purpose-built bicycles and stations that employ high tech features like smartcards, solar power, and wireless internet and GPS technologies.

Who is involved with launching the San Francisco bike sharing system?

The BAAQMD is the overall regional project lead, coordinating the planning and implementation efforts of the local partners: the City and County of San Francisco, the Cities of San Jose, Mountain View and Palo Alto in Santa Clara County and the City of Redwood City in San Mateo County. The SFMTA is leading the project in San Francisco, and we are working in cooperation with our City and County partners, including the Planning Department, Department of Public Works, San Francisco Recreation and Park Department and the Port of San Francisco. The regional partners will be selecting a contractor in fall 2011 to install, operate, and manage the system.

Where will bike sharing be located in San Francisco?

As the San Francisco Bicycle Sharing Pilot Service Area map (PDF) presents, in San Francisco, the pilot service area will be centered in San Francisco’s employment- and transit-rich Downtown/SOMA corridor between the Financial District, Market Street and the Transbay and Caltrain terminals.  This area is notably flat, has the densest bikeway network coverage in San Francisco and enjoys the highest levels of cycling, yet those who commute by transit from cities to the east and south encounter difficulties bringing a bicycle with them on BART or Caltrain. Much of San Francisco’s densely urbanized northeastern quadrant is similarly well-suited to bicycle sharing.

When will bike sharing launch in San Francisco?

The regional partners will be selecting a vendor to install, operate, and manage the bike sharing system in 2011 with the goal of a system launch in Spring/Summer 2012!

Further Information

If you have any questions, comments or feedback about bike sharing, contact the SFMTA at sustainable.streets@sfmta.com.

Bixi, the Bike Taxi, in Golden Gate Park – Testing Out the Canadian Bike Rental System

Sunday, August 2nd, 2009

The Bixi short-term bike-share roadshow blew into town today, however briefly, to show us how they do it up in Montreal.

But first things first – a quick report on what our visiting bike-sharing visitors were surprised by in GGP:

1. The summertime cold and wind;

2. The homeless dude with a guitar case who flipped out, attacked a jogger, and had to get taken down by a bunch of Park Rangers and SFPD officers;

3. Noisy raptors circling low overhead; and

4. San Francisco’s famous bicycle built for four. It almost stole the show. See?

San Francisco Bicycle Coalition Program Director Andy Thornley with SF Weekly’s Matt Smith et ux, “quad” liberi, all together on a charming, fully-functioning bicycle. Click to expand:

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So Bixi is just like the Parisian Velib program except the Bixi bikes aren’t as heavy, which is a good thing. But the Bixis are still heavy though. And if you happen to be six foot one and a ton of fun, you’ll find that the frame is strong enough but that the seatpost doesn’t go up high enough. Otherwise the whole program is as you would expect.   

The mise-en-scene today:

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In France, they incentivize people to drop the bikes off at the tops of hills. If a program like this ever gets off the ground in San Francisco, what would it take to deal with stations at the tops of our mini-mountains?

Bienvenue à Montréal!

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It’s enormous work keeping a program like this going. The little monsters of France have effectively managed to steal, vandalize, and otherwise mangle the entire original fleet – at a replacement cost of thousands of dollars each, that’s a tough row to hoe.  

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If you want to make a system like this work in San Francisco, you’d need  a subsidy from the government, the way that MUNI and BART and Golden Gate ferries get subsidies.

And where will people get the helmets they’ll need? Whoops. (In gay Paris, they take a c’est la vie approach to matters like this.)

All in all, I’d rather have a regular bike and a U-lock than a Bixi program membership. But if you can’t find a cab or you just missed your bus, you might like having the option of a short-term bike rental.

We’ll see.

 
City CarShare Cohosts Bike Sharing Demonstration.

Exploring New Trends in Green Mobility

WHAT:   A one-day opportunity for the public to ride bikes from a bike share system. Bike sharing allows people to pick up a bike from one station, travel to their destination and return the bike to any other station in a network. City CarShare will be conducting a survey among participants to get their feedback on the concept, the equipment and their level of support for bike sharing in San Francisco.
 
WHEN:   Sunday, August 2, 10 am- 3:30 pm
 
WHERE:   Golden Gate Park, (just inside the car-free Sunday road closure on JFK Drive at Conservatory Drive East)
 
WHY:   To allow the public to test-ride the bikes and learn more about this eco-friendly mode of urban transportation. Through this demonstration project, the sponsors hope to encourage awareness and increased civic conversation about Bike Sharing for San Francisco as having the potential to build a greener city while encouraging healthy living.
 
SPONSORS:   City CarShare, SF Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), BIXI (of Montreal)
 
COST   Free