Monthly Archives: January 2014

Millennials: Tell Us Your Transportation Stories For Our Ebook

By Micheline Maynard

We’re hard at work on the first Curbing Cars eBook, which is scheduled to be published this spring. We’d like to include stories about millennials and the way you use transportation.

Did you put off getting a driver’s license, or did you get in line as soon as you could? Do you see a car as something that’s too expensive, or are you a car buff? Are you cycling or skateboarding or using public transportation? Or, do you have to drive to get where you need to go?

Join our stable of writers,

Millennials: share your stories.

How important is technology to you? Is your mobile device more important to you than your car?

If you are 30 or under, and would like to share your thoughts, please email us at curbingcars@gmail.com. Put Millennials in the subject line. Share a few transportation thoughts so we’ll know how to categorize you. Include your name, city, telephone number, Skype ID if you have one, and the best time to get in touch.

We only want people whose names can be used in the book, and we will verify your info to make sure you are who you say you are. Please respond by Feb. 14.

Thanks, and we’re looking forward to hearing from you.

P.S. for our non-millennial readers, we’ll be looking for your stories as well. Stay tuned for our request.

Comments Off on Millennials: Tell Us Your Transportation Stories For Our Ebook

Filed under Curbing Cars, Poll

Bixi Goes Bankrupt; What Happens Next?

A row of Bixis stands waiting for lunchtime riders in Montreal.

A row of Bixis stood waiting for lunchtime riders in Montreal last fall. Will Bixi be back?

By Frederick Meier

The shock wave traveled across the bicycling community on social media Monday afternoon, when the word came out of Montreal: Bixi, the big name in bike sharing, had filed for bankruptcy protection. Andy Riga, the Montreal Gazette‘s ace transportation reporter, was all over the story (read his coverage here).

The city of Montreal essentially forced Bixi into Canada’s version of Chapter 11 protection, basically in order to give the troubled company a chance to restructure $50 million in debt.

The move has ramifications across North America, because Bixi is the operator of multiple bike sharing programs including Citi Bikes in New York, Divvy Bikes in Chicago, and of course, the eponymous Bixi system in Montreal. (Read our story about bike sharing in Toronto Montreal here.)

Bixi, in fact, is owed $5.6 million by New York and Chicago, which have refused to make payments because of recurrent problems with Bixi-operated software.

We’ve put together a list of the best Bixi stories from yesterday and today, so you can get up to speed on what happened and what’s likely to happen next. Continue reading

Comments Off on Bixi Goes Bankrupt; What Happens Next?

Filed under bicycling, bike sharing, cities

A Smaller City Tries A New Bike Sharing Approach

By Micheline Maynard

The United States has seen an explosion of interest in bike sharing. The nation’s bike sharing fleet doubled last year, will double again this year and is expected to be four times bigger in 2015 than it was in 2012, according to the Earth Policy Institute.

Lansing, Michigan is embracing bike sharing.

Lansing, Michigan is embracing bike sharing.

But as bike sharing expands, communities are trying some different approaches. In some places, local governments are taking the lead. In others, universities are involved. And a few private corporations are funding bike sharing meant just for their employees.

I recently took a look at the growing interest in bike sharing in Michigan for Bridge Magazine. Now, bikes are probably not what you think of first when you think of a state so tied to the auto industry. But as with the rest of the country, bike sharing is increasingly a topic of conversation.

One of the most intriguing ideas I discovered is in Lansing, Mich., the state capitol. It’s definitely a grass roots movement, with some help from Ingham County officials.

In October, the area launched what is officially the state’s first municipally sponsored bike sharing system, Capital Community Bike Share. Continue reading

Comments Off on A Smaller City Tries A New Bike Sharing Approach

Filed under bicycling, bike sharing, urban planning

Getting Around On Maui, Where Locals Want More Transit Options

map_of_mauiIn this two-part report, Curbing Cars intern Matt Varcak transports us away from dreary weather and takes us to Hawaii, a surprising hot spot for public transportation. Today, he looks at Maui.

By Matthew Varcak

Hawaii’s third most populous island, Maui, is also its second-largest at roughly 727 square miles. And in the past dozen years, the demand for public transportation has exploded.

The Maui Bus program began in 2002 as a pilot program to accommodate the increased need for affordable transportation. By the end of 2003, the program had 101,508 passenger boardings, and by the end of 2004 that number had grown to 117,490.

For the fiscal year 2013, 2.51 million passengers boarded the Maui Bus system.

And these are not all tourists. According to Marc Takamori, deputy director for the County of Maui Department of Transportation, 80 percent of the passengers are locals. Takamori also said there is a demand from riders to increase the frequency of service in addition to adding more routes into areas not currently served. Continue reading

Comments Off on Getting Around On Maui, Where Locals Want More Transit Options

Filed under cities, public transportation, Travel

A Growing Demand For Public Transit: How People Get Around In Hawaii

Honolulu once abounded with streetcars. Now, public transportation is in strong demand across Hawaii. Photo: Honolulu Star-Bulletin Archives

Honolulu once abounded with streetcars. Now, public transportation is in strong demand across Hawaii. Photo: Honolulu Star-Bulletin Archives

In this two-part report, Curbing Cars intern Matt Varcak lifts us out of the weather doldrums and takes us to Hawaii, a surprising hot spot for public transportation.

By Matthew Varcak

If you visit the Hawaiian Islands, you will likely enjoy beautiful weather, pristine bodies of water, ancient grounds, delicious food and happy people. I was lucky enough to be one of these people this past summer when I visited the Island of Hawaii (The Big Island).

What struck me the most — beyond that — was how affordable and extensive the mass transit was. Hawaii once had streetcars, and it soon will get a light rail system. Meanwhile, the main way people get around is on buses.

At roughly 4,000 square miles, the Island of Hawaii is the state’s largest island, but it is the second-most populous island behind Oahu. Its major cities are separated by long stretches of winding highways wrapping around Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa, two of Hawaii’s volcanoes, which stand at nearly 14,000 feet above sea level.

With a general fare only costing $1, it soon became clear that it would be much more affordable to ride the Hele-On Bus, Hawaii County’s Mass Transit system, rather than drive myself everywhere. Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under cities, Driving, infrastructure, public transportation, Travel, urban planning

You Offered Advice For Anne. Here’s What She’s Going To Do

Anne's 1998 Honda Civic. Will it stay or go?

Anne’s 1998 Honda Civic. Will it stay or go?

By Micheline Maynard

We had some wonderful responses to our request for Advice For Anne. She’s a Curbing Cars reader in Ann Arbor, Michigan, who asked for help as she figured out what to do about her 1998 Honda Civic.

Anne has read your suggestions, and here’s her message for everyone.

“Thank you to all the wonderful comments from the Curbing Cars readers.  They provided very helpful perspectives on going Car Free and very thought provoking ideas and experiences.

I am going to keep my car for now, but not use it except on rare occasions where a car is helpful – picking my friend up at the bus station, going to an appointment out of town, going to a friend’s house after the buses stop. Continue reading

Comments Off on You Offered Advice For Anne. Here’s What She’s Going To Do

Filed under advice, Driving, public transportation

Happy 2014 From Curbing Cars! How Will You Get Around This Year? Take Our Survey

By Micheline Maynard

The new year is here, and maybe you’re making some new year’s resolutions. Are you vowing to do anything differently when it comes to transportation?

Take our poll and feel free to leave comments. We’d love to know how you’ll be getting around in 2014.

It’s going to be a big year for the Curbing Cars team. Our eBook is scheduled to be published in April. And we’re looking forward to staying on top of transportation and travel trends as they emerge this new year.

Click here to take survey

Comments Off on Happy 2014 From Curbing Cars! How Will You Get Around This Year? Take Our Survey

Filed under Poll