Monday, August 23, 2010

Bicycle Sharing One Step Closer To Roosevelt Island - B Cycle Hosting Demonstration Program On Tuesday August 24 - Come Show Support & Vote For RI

You Tube Video of B-Cycle Sharing Program

A Roosevelt Island Bike Sharing Program is one step closer to reality.

Image of Potential Roosevelt Island Bike Sharing Station from Hunter College Access RI(Page 39)

Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Board Member Jonathan Kalkin has been working to bring Bicycle sharing to Roosevelt Island for some time. What is Bicycle Sharing? According to The Bike Sharing Blog, Bike Sharing is a:
short-term bicycle rental available at a network of unattended locations;
Mr. Kalkin now reports:
I am really excited to announce that B-Cycle will be presenting their bike sharing program on Roosevelt Island on August 24, 2010 from 2pm to 7pm. The Columbia U transportation study I commissioned recommended bike sharing and I have been contacting bike sharing companies ever since.

I contacted b-cycle awhile back to state RIOC's support and interest which you did a post on. Thanks to the hard work of Erica and the great staff at RIOC, we are part of their national tour.

It's not over yet though, please encourage people to the come to the presentation and email b-cycle about their interest. They also have a vote contest on their website that people should click on. These programs need government cooperation and support in order to thrive. As the new Chair of the Operations Committee at RIOC, I will do everything I can to make bike sharing a reality on Roosevelt Island.
RIOC Community Relations Specialist Erica Wilder provides some additional information:
On Tuesday August 24, 2010 from 2 PM to 7 PM, we will be hosting a demonstration of the B-Cycle company’s modern bicycle rental mechanism and bikes. Island residents and visitors will have the chance to test drive the bikes for free and learn how to use the intuitive, automated solar powered kiosk. The B-cycle system can measure and track various parameters of usage including miles ridden, calories burned, and carbon off-set.

Residents and visitors will be surveyed for their interest in bike-sharing programs and their assessments of the current bicycling and transportation situations on the island. The survey and the exhibition are part of RIOC’s appraisal of island accessibility and possible plans to implement a bike-sharing program.

Location: On the west promenade, across the street from Starbucks and the subway.

More on the bike sharing concept from earlier posts.

Click here to vote for Roosevelt Island Bike sharing at B Cycle.

Engadget reports on another bike sharing concept, Social Bicycle, that will begin beta testing in New York City soon:
Social Bicycles is a bike sharing system with a twist. Using an iPhone app, the system allows users to drop off, locate, and borrow a bike nearly anywhere. The bikes are equipped with a GPS device which is locked to one of the wheels, and when the bike is locked, it's locatable using the app, so that someone can borrow it; when it's in use and unlocked, it doesn't appear in the app. The real upside to Social Bicycles is that the regular infrastructure required for bike lending systems -- such as docking stations in a lot of convenient locations -- are unnecessary with this system,...
Don't forget to vote here and show your support for Roosevelt Island Bike sharing.

UPDATE 11:30 AM - WCBS TV News has more on Mayor Bloomberg's proposal to add 50,000 bikes for a New York City Bicycle Sharing plan.


Anonymous said...

How "short" is short term? I don't see the point of renting a bicycle on RI and use it only here. If we could take one in the morning and return it in the evening it would be an awesome way to get to work. I hope they don't reduce bicycling to entertainment only (and not as a serious form of transportation to actually get things done) as it is being looked at all over the country, unfortunately.

Olivier said...

on se croirait à Paris (France), c'est une tres bonne idée

MPer said...

This would be lovely for joyriding, but pretty useless when it comes to getting to and from work.

Speaking of bicycles, I'm fairly new to RI and this blog, so you may have covered this already, but what's with those inexplicable "No Overnight Parking" bike racks outside MP and the subway (and possibly elsewhere, though I haven't paid close attention). I'd love to have a bike for those days when I just don't feel like walking, but there's no way I'm bringing the bike into my apartment every night--not with the bug infestations this city has been having. And when asked, the concierges seem just as stumped as to what we should do with our bikes, and why overnight-parking is forbidden in the first place.

Anonymous said...

Re "If we could take one in the morning and return it in the evening it would be an awesome way to get to work"
Indeed you can.You just have to buy your own bike. Fairly similar to cars actually.


Re "there's no way I'm bringing the bike into my apartment every night--not with the bug infestations this city has been having". Talk to your landlord.
Most of the buildings have bikerooms downstairs

Anonymous said...

Very few buildings on RI have "downstairs". The bike racks that Manhattan Park used to have are now off-limits for overnight storage. So, that's why renting a bike for commuting would be awesome. I also hate the fact that I have to bring my bike across the living room to get it onto the balcony.

Anonymous said...

If you want to ride a bike, you probably own one already.

The idea of short-term use of bikes on the Island is laughable.

How many people ride the red bus from the subway or tram, when it is a seven-minute walk to Rivercross? Are these the people that will use the b-Cycle?

My impression is the b-Cycle program is designed to get people around town, when running a bunch of errands. It is not designed for commuting, because there is no guarantee the bike will be where you want it.

Imagine people ride b-Cycle bikes to start their commute from the Octagon to the subway. During the day, the bikes are at the subway, and are not near the stores on Main Street, nor near the Gristede's, where they would be useful to take home items that were purchased. And if those riders were smart enough to pick-up the bikes at the subway, ride them to the Gristede's, shop and then ride the bike to wherever they lived, then how do the bikes get back to the subway for the evening commute back to the Octagon?

Am I missing something here?

Anonymous said...

Yes, I walk to the subway station or wherever the b cycle kiosk is and ride the bike to work in Manhattan. Then in the evening I cycle back and drop off the bike.

No, I don't own a bike because I have no storage space to park it overnight nor is it anywhere allowed on this island to park a bike overnight.

I agree with you, though. Short-term rentals are pretty useless in this island.


I don't have a bicycle and would love to use a bike sharing system for short term rentals on Roosevelt Island for riding along the seawall to Lighthouse Park and Southpoint Park whenever I feel like it without having to own a bike.

It would also be great to use them to go to Astoria, LIC , Greenpoint, Williamsburg and other Brooklyn neighborhoods - even all the way to Coney Island.

Tourists coming to Roosevelt Island could also use them to explore.



The No Overnight Bike Parking policy was instituted by RIOC last summer to prevent the bike racks from being used as a permanent storage option for residents.
More from previous posts.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I know. The racks at 40 River Road, though, have been made inaccessible by MP management. They built a wooden fence around that area because it is also used for other things like bulk trash. No new bike racks have been erected.

Anonymous said...

This is such an exciting development. I am rooting for Roosevelt Island to become an example for the rest of New York City and implement a bike sharing system that facilitates getting around the island as well as going into the other boroughs.

I don't quite understand the negative response so far in the comments. Perhaps we need more details such as time limit, pricing, station locations, etc. before deeming bike sharing "useless"?

Anonymous said...

The problem is that it is not allowed to park a bicycle over night anywhere in public on this island. You have to bring it into your home at night. Manhattan Park, for example, does not have a bike room in any of its building. For people like me who take the bicycle serious as commuter vehicle it is incomprehensible why this is. I use my bike every single day, rain or shine, and I am forced to bring it into my apartment at night. Who is going to clean that place? Who has the room to store 2 or 3 bicycles?

I really hope Public Safety is going to revisit this. You cannot take something away (overnight parking outside) and not offer an alternative.

Anonymous said...

I like the idea of bike sharing system and would use B-cycle but only if there is a rack in the northern part of the island (where I live).

I find it strange that RIOC talks about encouraging people to use bikes, but on other hand discourages people to use their own bikes by not allowing storing bikes overnight. Where to store bikes now??? Some apartments don't have balconies and are too small to store a bike in the apartment. (I am not going to store my bike in my living room or bedroom - it will occupy half of the room!) My building doesn't have "downstairs" either. They do have storage rooms on each floor, but their number is small and it costs $95 per month to rent a storage room. $95 is too much for me to pay to store a bike.

Anonymous said...

I am very angry about this new policy to ban overnight bike storage, especially after reading a letter in the most recent Wire (local newspaper). The person who wrote the letter owned a bike and stored it at the rack. When he returned from vacation, his bike was gone. He inquired Public Safety and was told that all bikes were removed to enforce no overnight storage ban. Public Safety didn’t have his bike because if bikes are not claimed by owners after a short period of times, Public Safety gives them to the Thrift Store has it. The man went to the Thrift Store to find out that his bike was not there. The Thrift Store has sold it! The owner wasn’t offered any compensation!

Anonymous said...

I read the letter in the WIRE and the "funny" part is that his question about what to do with bikes now was not answered at all. All he got was a "the Octagon has bike storage" but that doesn't apply to me, who lives in Manhattan Park.

Again, the question is, where are we supposed to store our bikes over night? Not having any public bike racks anywhere (or at least a system that makes sure Public Safety knows about your bike and knows that it is not abandoned, maybe through a tag) does not help encouraging using the bike more often.