I’m all for improving conditions for bicycle riding and for increasing the number of bikes on the road. People who live short distances from school, work, shopping and entertainment destinations, etc., should not be forced to fire up a motor vehicle in order to get where they need to go. However, I cannot imagine how the Nice Ride Minnesota “bike-share system” does anything to improve conditions for bicycle riding or increase the number of bicycle riders.
Who’s going to use this “system?” $5 gets you a half-hour or less ride to and from a “wow cool” solar-powered kiosk, or, you can get with the program and buy your half-hour or less rides in bulk for the monthly rate of $30 or the yearly rate $60. Or, you can game the “bike-share system,” and hop-scotch to and from the “wow cool” solar-powered kiosks, and try to avoid paying additional fees for rides that extend more than a half-hour.
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Who’s going to use this goofball greenwash, “wow cool,” solar-powered kiosk system? A half-hour or less ride, to and from an “available” kiosk, does not get you to and from work, school, a shopping trip or anywhere else you need to go, unless, by unlikely chance, both your origin and destination happen to be very close to kiosk locations.
It appears that Blue Cross-Blue Shield and the Federal Government (the same folks that brought us our bloated and nightmarish health care and transportation systems), along with the City of Minneapolis and some private business interests, have just spent $3.2 million so a handful of i-phone carrying gizmocrats can hopscotch to and from some “available” solar-powered kiosks. According to an article in the Minnesota Daily, “the system will include applications for smartphones and an interactive map on the website that will show available bicycles and empty slots for returning bicycles at each kiosk.”