As you can see above, getting a bike ready for airline travel can be an arduous task. Admittedly, bike-touring might not be a large cross section of the population and even David French, who is a regular bike-tourist, agreed in a recent Elliott.org article.
But since the late 1970s, when French brought his his bike along on trips to Europe, he says it has become increasingly difficult and costly for people to travel with their bikes.
Fees have increased enormously for someone bringing a bike on a plane. As Christopher Elliott writes, someone looking to bike-tour should expect to spend between $100 and $300 to check their bike as luggage.
Courtesy of Ride for Climate
Continue reading →
The Bixi Logo
With the bankruptcy filing of the Public Bike System Company, more commonly known as Bixi, bike sharing has been getting some stinky press as of late.
Bixi, which is based in Montreal, filed for bankruptcy protection earlier this year after it was unable to make payments to suppliers and several municipalities, including New York, Chicago, and its hometown of Montreal. The implementation of bike share systems in Vancouver and Portland has been delayed because of the Bixi blunder, according to reports.
The future may seem gloomy in light of recent events, but mobility nuts shouldn’t fear: there are still several promising bike share systems that are expected to pop up across the U.S.:
1. Arborbike – Ann Arbor, Mich.
A rendering of what the Arborbikes will look like.
(Courtesy of Clean Energy Coalition)
This system is arguably long overdue. Ann Arbor is known for being an environmentally-friendly town, and its large concentration of college students makes it attractive place for a system. The Ann Arbor News reports that The Clean Energy Coalition, a local non-profit, expects to launch 14 stations in June at various locations throughout downtown and near the campus of the University of Michigan. The University has pledged to help fund the program, in addition to support from the city and the Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority. Hardware for the program supplied by Wisconsin-based B-Cycle.
The CEC is hoping that area businesses will purchase memberships for their employees or patrons, and they’ve also expressed interest in allowing property owners or developers to underwrite stations around town. Continue reading →
Divvy Bikes in Chicago.
By Micheline Maynard
Unless they were lucky enough to get a gift certificate, pretty much everybody who has joined Citi Bike, ZipCar or Uber has something in common: a credit card.
But what if you want to get around, and you don’t have a credit card?
That’s a topic of active discussion in Chicago, where one in nine residents don’t have bank accounts, according to research reported this week by Streetsblog Chicago.
According to researcher Michael Carney at the University of Illinois at Chicago’s College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs, that translates to at least 135,000 people and perhaps more than twice as many people. In some parts of Chicago, one-third of area residents do not have bank accounts, but get by relying on cash or debit-style cards that aren’t linked to bank accounts.
One of the biggest reasons bike share and other transportation programs ask for credit cards is to offset the risk of damage to bikes or vehicles, or even the theft of the equipment. A rider, driver or consumer without a credit card can’t be billed if the information isn’t available.
The Chicago Department of Transportation, which runs Divvy Bikes, the city’s bike sharing system, is determined to get “unbanked” Chicagoans on bikes. It’s been looking at ways that it can make Divvy accessible to more people. Continue reading →
By Micheline Maynard
Our Jewish friends are getting ready to celebrate the High Holy Days, which kick off Wednesday with Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, and continue next week with Yom Kippur.
Bay Area Bike Share bikes at the Ferry Building in San Francisco.
This year’s festivities mark the start of 5774 on the Jewish calendar. Last year, when 5773 kicked off, neither New York, Chicago or San Francisco had bike share systems. This year, Citi Bike, Divvy Bikes and most recently, Bay Area Bike Share have become new transportation choices.
But some Jews, especially those who follow the Orthodox tradition, observe restrictions on travel during the High Holy Days. We wondered if that includes bike sharing.
For an answer, we contacted Rabbi Allen Schwartz, at Congregation Ohab Zedek in New York. He was kind enough to provide his guidance about the Orthodox approach to technology during holidays (which include every Sabbath (sundown Friday to nightfall Saturday), Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, Shemini Atzeret, Simchat Torah, Pesach and Shavuot).
Said Rabbi Schwartz,
“On all these days, observant Jews refrain from practically all forms of technology. These days are set aside for contemplation of what we are as human beings and is becoming more and more challenging in a vastly changing world. Continue reading →