Electric bicycles make mass transit more usable

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reikiman
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Electric bicycles make mass transit more usable

Was thinking about this upon arrival at work this morning. The commute to this job involves one leg taking VTA Light Rail several miles. I could have waited for the next bus to take me to the light rail station but instead I rode my bicycle. Comparing between the two, taking the bicycle shaved 15 minutes off the arrival time.

That is - taking the bus I could have completely avoided using my own vehicle. But it would have meant waiting 20 minutes or more for the next bus and taking a later train from the light rail station.

By riding the bicycle I didn't have to wait for the next bus, and instead went directly to the light rail station, and was able to take an earlier train. It did mean part of the commute on my own vehicle.

davew
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Re: Electric bicycles make mass transit more usable

Good point. This has been that useful for me, however, because there is no good place to store an ebike. I'm loathe to leave it locked up outside for both theft and weather concerns. If I had access to locked/covered parking I'd do it in a heartbeat.

On the other hand my folding, non-electric bike sees a lot of use on mass-transit.

"we must be the change we wish to see in the world"

reikiman
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Re: Electric bicycles make mass transit more usable

Yeah, something I didn't say is that I personally feel the most free when I'm not using a personally owned vehicle at all, but riding mass transit around. My preference would be to walk from the house to mass transit and ride mass transit everywhere I need to go.

This seems counter intuitive - especially as the American Ideal seems to be that owning a car gives the most freedom. Yeah, right, the freedom to be stuck in traffic, the freedom to have to find parking everywhere you go, the freedom to keep refilling the fuel tank, etc. I think I feel most free riding mass transit because I don't have to remember to take anything other than my body, don't have to find parking, etc.

What you're saying about being afraid to leave a bike locked somewhere because of theft etc - that sounds like "the freedom to have your bicycle stolen" - and that one would be freer by not bringing a bicycle and not having to worry about whether the bicycle is safe or not locked up outside. Right?

Using no vehicle means you're completely beholden to the mass transit system to run well - while at the same time free from the worries mentioned above. Here in Silicon Valley the mass transit system sucks. Well, it's not as bad as it could be, but that's faint praise. Especially as they're about to implement service cutbacks thanks to California's budget problems.

davew
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Re: Electric bicycles make mass transit more usable

What you're saying about being afraid to leave a bike locked somewhere because of theft etc - that sounds like "the freedom to have your bicycle stolen" - and that one would be freer by not bringing a bicycle and not having to worry about whether the bicycle is safe or not locked up outside. Right?

Somewhat, but weather is also a concern. I lost a ebike once by leaving it parked in a really wet, sticky snowstorm. Fried the controller and the battery pack when I turned it on.

I should also shift the emphasis. It's not so much that I hate to leave the ebike, but I really like the folding bike. I ride it on to the bus, take it on the bus, ride it from the bus to my destination, and, more often than not, take it inside with me. Hotels and even restaurants don't seem to mind.

"we must be the change we wish to see in the world"

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