Citi Bike, New York City’s bike-share program, is hoping to attract more women to its citywide system. According to this N.Y. Times article, women make up about a quarter of the bike-share system’s ridership and one-third of its registered users.
Bike commuting demographics across the country already skew toward males, but according to the article, some of the deterrents to attracting more women bicyclists specifically in New York City — other than safety concerns (the article notes that men are more prone to risky behavior) — include cost, hygiene, and appearance in a fashion-conscious city where women are held to a higher standard.
With these factors in mind, Citi Bike is hosting women’s rides, promoting bicycle fashion and recently unveiled new lighter bicycles. But why is it so important to get women to buy in on bike-share? Excerpt:
“Women are early indicators of a successful bike system,” said Sarah M. Kaufman, the assistant director for technology programming at the Rudin Center for Transportation at New York University and an author of a new report on Citi Bike. “If you have more women riders, that means it’s convenient and safe.”
With bike-sharing coming to L.A. next spring, what will it take for you to sign up and ride? Somewhat related: we did a post and short video on bicycling and fashion for Bike Week LA last month.
The latest in Vox’s series on the future of transportation in America looks at the growing number of “microtransit” companies. The most prominent of what I call the “true” ridesharing services in the U.S. currently are UberPool and LyftLine.
The difference between these and the standard service Uber and Lyft offer is that instead of driving one passenger or group of passengers from point A to point B, drivers pick up other passengers along the route at about half the cost of the standard service in what is basically an on-demand carpool.
Because of the data these services can collect from its users, microtransit companies have much more flexibility in route planning and improving efficiency. Excerpt:
This could give them a key advantage over traditional transit. “Municipal transit agencies collect a lot of data, but they don’t actually do anything with it,” says David Block-Schachter, chief scientist of Bridj, which adds service areas for its shared shuttles based on where users have requested expansion.
He points out that his previous employer, Boston’s transit authority, still runs subway lines along routes set 150 years ago, when trains were pulled by teams of horses. Bridj, by contrast, plans to fully harness the flexibility of buses in a way that transit agencies never really have. In theory, this could allow for a service that’s only slightly more expensive than public transit, but much more convenient.
The article also discusses some of the hurdles still facing these companies. Anyone who has followed the sagas of Uber, Lyft or Leap will know these quite well, including navigating government regulations and questions about the social equity of the services.
As expected, advocates yesterday announced they are suing the City of L.A. over the approved design of the Glendale-Hyperion bridge. At issue is the city’s “negative declaration,” which meant the city determined there would be little to no environmental or safety impacts resulting from the bridge renovation project.
The lawsuit contends that the sidewalk that will be removed and replaced with bike lanes on the south side of the bridge in the approved plan can’t be removed without affecting circulation — an impact under the California Environmental Quality Act — and requires further environmental study.
Many options, no single solution to nation’s traffic snarls (Yahoo! Finance)
Living in the transit realm on the daily, it’s always entertaining to read the brief, birds-eye view pieces that are targeted to the less transit geeky. According to this Associated Press article, the future of transportation and the way to reduce congestion will be a mix of the following: more public transit, HOT lanes, smart cars, driverless cars and tech using real-time data. (What, no Hyperloop?!)
L.A. is highlighted as an example of a “public transit renaissance,” but interestingly, this section is also the only one where there’s any hint of skepticism. Those who read these headlines enough know there are skeptics for every other potential future mode the article lists, too.
I never had Thai food before I moved to L.A. (Zocalo Public Square)
The latest installment in Zocalo Public Square’s Metro rider series.
You can follow Joe on Twitter at @joseph_lem.
Categories: Transportation Headlines