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I argued having a differential set of bicycles on the worldcitybike list, but people weren't into the idea. The SmartBike system needs to be set up like Zipcar, in that they have a differentiated set of vehicles, designed to meet a variety of needs.

Right now, the SmartBike system is designed to meet only one type of need.

Alternatively, if we had transportation demand management planning and transportation management districts, this could be another way to provide additional mobility options. I.e., I think that places like Eastern Market should have trikes/cargo bikes that people could borrow to take their purchases home. Etc.

I am a boy! And I stand firm against the specter of tricyclism. Keep it on that side of the river!

The idea of adding tricycles to SmartBike is interesting, but there are issues of practicality. Vélib already has problems with asymmetry: bikes tend to be rented at the tops of hills and end up at the bottom, for instance. What will happen to those cargo bikes/tricycles that people rent at Eastern Market and take into neighborhoods where there is less interest in this kind of heavy-duty transport?

Vélib works, in part, because it deploys one model of practical (i.e. multi-purpose) bike on a massive scale. This makes it easy to keep kiosks compact, facilitates repair, and minimizes "symmetry" issues of the sort I mention above.

My inclination is to keep things single, but scale up... big time.

It's also worth noting that ZipCar doesn't allow one-way trips; each individual car has its own space that it must be returned to. SmartBikes can be rented anywhere and left anywhere. That would make it hugely more difficult to manage a variety of types of bikes.

Kriston Capps, sorry about that, I should've looked it up.

I agree that simple is better. But options are good too. There must be a way to make it work, though I can't think of it right now.

Specialty bikes like could be part of any bike sharing system, they would just have different rules. Cargo bikes could be rented under the same terms as regular bikes, but would have to be returned to the stand from where they were taken. This would be similar to going to a special location to access a particular car sharing vehicle.


I don't see how this would work. Wouldn't you have make two extra trips: one to return the cargo bike, the other to get back home? This ends up being like having to rent a Zipcar to get to a Zipvan to lug stuff home, and then having to drive the Zipvan back, and then rent *another* Zipcar (to get home).


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