9 May 2009

bike sharing or bike scam?

Montreal is launching a public bike sharing system this coming Tuesday, and of course Toronto can't do other than imitate them. Toronto's system is planned to launch in 2010.
Montreal touts itself to have an advertising-free solution, but instead they have horribly high prices. They advertise the first 30 minutes to be free, but in fact, users have to pay five dollars subscription fee before they can even check out a bike. How is this tariff supposed to encourage the use of bicycles for very short distances and as a means to bridge the gaps between other means of transport? But that's always the problem with imitations: easy to copy the appearance, but still misses the point.

I wonder why the city blasts itself with fighting for clean air and community service, when in fact, the system is meant to pay for itself, the city doesn't spend a single cent on it! That's a really tough battle for the environment that you are fighting, guys! Private companies do everything for profit, why do we need a city government at all?! ((As a matter of fact, the city still provides the space to put the stations for I don't know what compensation... but still that can hardly be seen as a fight for clean air or commitment for citizen mobility.)

As an extra: This article on Spacing.ca talks about the funny coincidences that have led to the world-famed success of Paris' bike sharing system.

2 comments:

Sarah said...

One of the great advantages of Switzerland: in Zurich you can rent your city bike for free. Maybe somebody should point that out that example to the city of Toronto?

Robert said...

I'll try to think of mentioning this if I have an occasion!
Thanks for the link!

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