Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Further thoughts on Bay Area Bike Share

Well it has been a month and I am looking forward to statistics on the success of Bay Area Bike Share and it looks like they are working the kinks out. Bikes are being relocated regularly so in most cases it is possible to get and return a bike in most cases. Oddly it seems more challenging to find a slot to return a bike than get a bike with the Fourth and King station being particularly problematic. This illustrates the demand for mass transit interchange options. 

For me coming in from the South Bay I have to figure out how to get to 9th and Market. Thankfully I have a few options. A private building run shuttle, the 83x and now bike share. This combination solves a key problem which is availability. Given Caltrain's current erratic performance (which to be fair is not always their fault, the sad state where people are unable to get help is an issue we all have culpability on), it is not always clear that I will have a ride where the wait time can be upwards of 30 minutes. Bike share brings the advantages of taxis in that a ride is immediately available. The mixed modes of transportation options suggests that Bike Share would benefit from joining the clipper system to enable more riders a quick way of getting on their ride. But the option of immediate transport I think has driven the success. Mass transit could fill the gap but they cannot provide the options of random destination. 

Which brings me to wonder if the issue of availability and flexibility of destination is the key to car share. The closest I have seen to CitiBike or BABS is Car2Go which has smart cars that don't require round trips. A part of Daimler I am curious to how it is doing. Sadly it looks like San Francisco will not permit this

Anyone from a Car2go city care to share their experience? 

Dynamic routing off of arterial pathways works for bikes can it work for cars. Zipcar is great for your home but its not how people live. 


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