Comments on: Yuppies on bikeshares A slice of lime in the soda Sun, 26 Oct 2014 19:05:02 +0000 hourly 1 By: duh2 Sun, 24 Jun 2012 05:41:54 +0000 “the government subsidy for bikeshare is basically a rounding error in the grand transportation budget, and I’m sure that the amount of government funds spent on maintaining roads in affluent suburban communities is orders of magnitude greater than the amount spent on bikes.”

Well hey, if you’re against cutting it because it’s just a small “rounding error”, then I guess you’d be more amenable to tackling DC’s deficit by cutting the big expenditures: Pensions, public sector salaries, redundant public sector services, etc etc… Dishonest argument is dishonest.

So because we spend tons of money on roads for rich suburbs, we should thus also spend money on bikeshare problems that benefit the rich, but MAY, sometime, in the long run, possibly, benefit the poor, at some point? Libertarians generally favor toll roads by the way, so they’d agree that yes, funding “public” roads in rich subdivisions is silly.

Why not expand this? Why not add rollerblade, skateboard, unicycle, and horse shares? It’s public transportations! WE ALREADY SUBSIDIZE ROADS AND TRAINS!!!!!!! WHY DO YOU HATE POOR PEOPLE/BLACK PEOPLE/ THE CHILDREN!?!?!?

By: HamTech87 Thu, 21 Jun 2012 13:50:21 +0000 To the point of the unbanked, here’s from the FAQ page: “NYC Bike Share and NYC DOT are also working on a program that will allow residents to join the bike share system at a discount through NYCHA and credit unions to help the unbanked join.”

By: dWj Wed, 20 Jun 2012 18:07:23 +0000 If a smallish amount of money is wasted on a very small and undeserving population, cost-benefit analysis suggests that the subsidy be discontinued.

The better rejoinder to Reason’s point is the network externality; this is the beginnings of a public infrastructure, and once people have adapted it will increase welfare more than the sum of individual marginal benefits. This is solving a coordination problem, essentially, and that’s something that government is reasonably well positioned to do. The fact that these are not poor people means they’re paying taxes, anyway; public goods of this sort are a compelling reason for taxes.

By: washcycle Wed, 20 Jun 2012 17:26:42 +0000 Felix, there are several flaws with your assessment.

First of all, this survey was done online and represents a self-selected group of members, not a representative group. The people who are unbanked are exactly the same people who won’t respond to an online survey. Of course they won’t show up in the numbers

Second, this survey was done in early November 2011. The program to enlist the unbanked was launched on Dec 16, 2011. How exactly would you expect the beneficiaries of a program to show up in a survey done a month before the program started.

So perhaps you should have looked that up before writing this “I told you so” post?

By: kcar1 Wed, 20 Jun 2012 17:20:47 +0000 Sorry,*unlimited Metrobus

By: kcar1 Wed, 20 Jun 2012 17:18:02 +0000 I think there are probably a lot of cultural and logistical barriers to those with less than a college degree and the unbanked not participating but one of the biggest, and simplest barriers is method of payment.

From the Capital Bikeshare FAQs:
“Annual or 30-day memberships are available online. All Capital Bikeshare memberships require a credit card; payment may be made with either Visa or Mastercard. Members must be at least 16 years of age.”

How are the unbanked supposed to participate if the most cost-effective and user-friendly membership requires a credit card? $7/day or $15/3 days is not exactly cheap especially when you can get a 7-day Metro pass for $15.

By: rb6 Wed, 20 Jun 2012 17:06:37 +0000 It might be important to focus on lurking variables. Bikeshares aren’t just attractive because of demographic proclivities; they are attractive because they “fit” within your existing commuting and transportation patterns. My guess would be that the residential areas where stations are concentrated skew much more white than the city’s average. It also might depend on what kind of job you have — or whether your commute includes, ahem, dropping a child off for daycare. On these metrics, I would say that more non-whites have children that they must factor into their traveling around town itineraries and also might have construction or other kinds of jobs that require, you know, TOOLS that are hard to lug around on a bike (like, they need something more than an iPad to do their jobs). They also might have more health problems, on average.

I would also say that the city provides better bus service in African American neighborhoods because, even if they don’t ride bikes, many African American residents of the city also don’t own cars, and are satisfied with bus routes. (Many who aren’t satisfied likely would not do better with bikes because the ride would be too far).

In short, yours is an exceedingly bank focused analysis that seems to see people as not much more than bank users or not. Please.

By: TFF Wed, 20 Jun 2012 16:49:10 +0000 I wonder, if the police see a young black male on a bikeshare, how likely are they to stop him and ask for proof of rental?

Cost isn’t the only issue.