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Boston startup plans Zipcar-like service for bikes

Bike station

Mass. High Tech takes a look at BikeNow, which aims to set up 150 solar-powered bike-rental kiosks across Boston for a fleet of 1,500 bicycles - if it can raise $2 million in financial backing.

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Bixi, in Montreal.

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I was just in Montreal 2 weeks ago and saw many people on the Bixi bikes. They seemed quite popular. I wish I had tried one out myself. Montreal is MUCH friendlier towards bicyclists than Boston. They have many bike lanes that are separated from the street traffic by concrete and most of the parking meters are designed for bicyclists to easily lock up their bikes. Their subway system is awesome also. Boston could learn a few things from Montreal on these fronts.

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Bixi in Ottawa & Gatineau

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I think Boston is long overdue to have a biking culture. I would love to see this rental service launched. Rhea

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They should start a solar-powered trip insurance kiosks too because auto drivers and the city make accommodation for cycling, which will lead to more accidents, injury and death.

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Their stations are reminiscent of an old-fashioned fuel pump (except for the solar panel).

Handlebars and such of bike shown are granny-bike.

Shame about the female frame. I have been culturally programmed to have a strong aversion to riding such a thing. The Bixi bike, by contrast, looks more futuristic/geeky than girly, so not as bad.

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Million-dollar idea of the day: Share-an-umbrella.

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a solar-powered kiosk too?

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Does the Financial District have occasional umbrella street sellers? (Wait for it to rain, and then price-gouge on a really cheap umbrella.)

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There is CVSness on just about every corner, and $7-8 at Marshall's or TJ Maxx will get you a folding model that fits in your bag.

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It will have a rain-water run off supply from a large, tall building,with a water turbine.

As for "share an umbrella", the Hilton in Portland Oregon provided umbrellas for guests, located in the room closet. I don't know why more hotels don't do this.

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The only hotel around here I know definitely does that is the Harbor Hotel, but they give it to you at the concierge station- it's not automatically in your room.

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Well, these would be the next best thing to the Stop-and-Drop suicide booths.

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By putting MORE bikes out on the streets, you're going to see MORE awareness in car drivers and LESS car-on-bike problems overall.

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Safety education for urban cyclists would be nice. While some follow the rules of the road, a frightening number of cyclists do not. This puts everyone in danger. In my observation, many cyclists' biggest threat is themselves and their lack of respect for the rules of the road and common sense.

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Including cyclists, people not in vehicles, and people piloting multi-ton powered vehicles. Guess which group is most dangerous to others? Hint: the one with the greatest mass and speed.

Most cyclists have drivers' licenses, you know. Why should cyclists be singled out for more training when MA drivers are some of the least educated about the rules in the country year after year after year? Most pedestrians have a license to drive too. Problem is, they are too easy to get in these parts. The well-documented problem of ignorant MA drivers thus filters down to the bike and pedestrian level.

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Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't cyclists supposed to obey traffic signals and stop signs? When I daily observe cyclists endangering themselves by blowing through busy intersections against red lights, I think that perhaps they might need to educate themselves on the rules of the road. If more and more people prefer to ride bikes on busy streets, then it might be wise to promote bike safety rules for riders. I would think that is a no-brainer. Education is a good thing, not an insult.

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What, do you think the cyclist doesn't know what a red light means? When a cyclist blows thru a red light, etc., he/she knows exactly what they're doing and they know it's wrong. They simply do not care. I'm not defending them, I'm just blowing apart your "education" theory.

Murph (a cyclist who stops for red lights and stop signs, but never rides in the city)

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When I daily observe cyclists motorists endangering themselves cyclists, pedstrians, and other motorists by blowing through busy intersections against red lights, I think that perhaps they might need to educate themselves on the rules of the road.

Fixed that for you.

Cyclists are a subset of the licensed-to-drive population. IF you bother to do a survey of seriously dangerous and stupid behavior on the part of pedestrians, motorists, and cyclists, my bet is that you would find a heck of a lot more motorists breaking safety laws than cyclists.

Besides, scofflaw cyclists are largely risking their own hides - scofflaw motorists kill.

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percentage wise cyclists and pedestrians probably break the law more than motorists. But they don't do it in a dangerous way most of the time. When cars do it, it is usually dangerous.

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I know what "wise cyclists" are but what are "percentage wise cyclists"? The ones that survive criminally reckless drivers in Boston?

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I think I missed a comma in there.

And Im not even sure percentage wise should be one word or two. I don't think it is one word but the word "wise" does form part of a name of a suffix of the word "percentage" but since it isn't a real word, maybe I should have put a hyphen in there?

But I did a 100 page paper once on various imperical studies of social phenemona and illegal pedestrian crossings was one of the chapters.

Seriously though, I think you understood my point.

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...that makes no sense, but now back to my point: Based on my daily observations, I almost NEVER see a cyclist stop at a stop sign or a red light in an intersection. MOST of the car drivers that I observe do stop at stop signs and red lights.

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It is called gathering observational data, from which one might draw inference through simple statistical analysis.

But, hey, if you just want to present "truthiness that everybody just knows" as a straw man argument, I won't stop you. I will question the validity, given my personal observations from years on the road as a cyclist and motorist, but I won't stop you.

I agree with Pete that a higher percentage of cyclists will jump lights than drivers will - but motorists are far more numerous than cyclists and far more dangerous.

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The bit about how this "discussion" comes back every time there is a mention of the word 'bicycle" on UniversalHub, is getting really tedious.

However, I have to say that I think that under some conditions it is safer for everyone if a bike proceeds even if there is a red light.

OK stop screaming and listen for a minute. this works for me and i feel safer this way:

If there is NO traffic coming across the intersection... AND there are cars stacking up behind me... then I feel that it is much safer for me to proceed and get up to traveling speed so that when the cars catch up with me, we are moving at less disparate speeds. I feel this is much safer for everyone. First, drivers can see me ahead and anticipate passing. Second, my most likely travel vector is much better established when I'm moving faster than 1 mph. And finally, I feel better having some momentum on my side, not to mention clearing the lane where people are often wanting to make right turns - which is in itself one of my greatest concerns when cycling on city streets in traffic.

In order to save time and energy, I will stipulate that, strictly speaking, this violates the law. However, I point out that so does stopping a delivery vehicle in a bike lane (never ticketed in Central Square despite ample precedent in law)... speeding on the Mass Pike (it's impossible to drive safely at the speed limit... crossing against the walk sign even if there is not a car in sight, and so on.

So the world is not so black and white, and I am not very interested in commentary that tries to pretend it is. We all do what we need to, to get by, and things on the whole work more smoothly with small adjustments. This one, I have found, seems to work in everyone's favour. That said, I have seen many asshole cyclists. I have also seen many asshole drivers of cars. The auto drivers are more dangerous because of the momentum and mass of the thing they are piloting, and because their cocoons can leave them completely detached from the surrounding world, whereas cyclists are very much in it (except the assholes wearing earbuds... again, stipulated, no need to bring it up again)

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Most cyclists make it pretty obvious whether they know what they're doing and are taking any steps to put any thought behind it. Just look on their heads.

I only yield to cyclists wearing helmets. I mean, I don't run over the ones who aren't, but I feel free to honk at them and cut them off. Why not just wear a big target? Or a sign that says "I'm aiming to get a brain injury"?

http://1smootshort.blogspot.com

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I thought you were one of those smarties

Keep saying and writing and doing things like that, and you might be mistaken for a self-important princess.

What a bunch of cruel bullshit you've just written.

Cut me off, and if you don't kill me, you're gonna be minus at the minimum a side mirror and maybe a couple of windows, courtesy of whatever hard object's in my bag.

Does that make us even?
Nice way to live.

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I've never caused an accident with a cyclist.

I'm saying that when someone's riding a bike without a helmet and tries to get in front of me, I honk and don't let them in. I don't feel like I need to go out of my way to help out someone who'd doing something obviously so stupid and dangerous.

Why, do you ride without a helmet? And are you one of those who rides all over the entire width of the road in random figure eights? Usually on a kid's bike? Wave next time I honk at you!

http://1smootshort.blogspot.com

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based on your judgment of their worthiness to remain uninjured...

bit of a god complex there?

who the fuck are you? Stay off the road and out of that car. You're a hazard to more than cyclists if you are capable of that kind of rationalization of violence.

Really, the only appropriate response to that, is FUCK YOU. Put down the keys and stay away from the car before you hurt someone.

The third paragraph goes into incredible speculation. Sorry, i'm not going to play with you.

fuck you.

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You got it wrong. She did not.

From my side, it is all my game. Cyclists stay on the sidewalk. I get murderously angry every time I see one.

I just want to teach them all a lesson. My lesson.

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So, you aren't just wearing that u-lock through your skull as a hip ironic fashion statement then?

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I didn't at all say I "go out of my way," nor that I intend to hurt someone. I did say I've never hurt a biker, and I don't intend to ever do so. Just that I only extend the courtesy of waving bikers in front of me etc. if they're wearing helmets. If they're not, I assume they aren't particularly invested in making safe choices or getting where they're going, so I don't make any concessions for them. And if they're doing figure eights across the lane, I honk at them and tell them to get out of the road. Cyclists who are using a lane of travel to, um, travel do have a right to the lane. Helmetless people who are riding around in circles trying to waste people's time and get killed aren't using the road for one of its permissible uses.

http://1smootshort.blogspot.com

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Fortunately, your previous comments can't be readily erased, and i've saved the page anyway.

You're an arrogant asshole to say that you'd happily "cut off" a cyclist because YOU did not APPROVE of their not wearing a helmet.

That's not "masshole"; that's the more universal "Asshole"

it's just that simple. The more words you pile on to try to unwind what you wrote, the bigger a mess you're creating for yourself. My advice to you is to STFU before you lose your license.

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No, really, what?

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"I only yield to cyclists wearing helmets. I mean, I don't run over the ones who aren't, but I feel free to honk at them and cut them off."

Reading that was pretty confusing to me. It sounded bad (since cutting off a cyclist sounds dangerous for multiple reasons). If it was as irresponsible as it sounded, that would seem highly out of character.

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I'm gonna weigh in here and say that there's a significant difference between cutting someone off dangerously when they have the right-of-way and not letting them in when they don't have the right-of-way. eeka's referring to the latter.

Honestly, with all the complaints from cyclists about how stupid and rude Boston drivers are (and I've seen stupid rudeness from motorists, cyclists and pedestrians alike), I don't know why any cyclist would choose NOT to wear a helmet, which is where this whole thing started.

zbert, I'm going to just assume that you are not the cyclist I almost killed last year because he was 1) riding 30MPH 2) on the sidewalk 3) against the light 4) without a helmet 5) across the street I was on where my view was obstructed by a building. I almost ended up with an injured cat because the carrier in the back seat flew onto the floor after bouncing off the back of the passenger seat. (Cat was fine. Confused, but fine. My heart rate skyrocketed.)

Anyway, THAT is the kind of idiot cyclist motorists complain about. If you're basically following the rules of the road, it's all good.

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"Anyway, THAT is the kind of idiot cyclist motorists complain about. If you're basically following the rules of the road, it's all good."

I think that you are generalizing from yourself to other Boston drivers too much.

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"...motorists such as the educated and skillful drivers who post on Universal Hub..."?

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30mph seems a bit out of bounds unless on a hill, but i'll accept that the bike was going fast relative to everything around it.

I've ridden 30mph on flat country roads on my racer, and probably hit that on hills in the city on my hybrid, perhaps on cambridge street from gov center to the river. there's a bit of a rise like on a roller coaster and then it's all down from there.

But no, that was not me.

The comment that you are also trying to explain away is still infused with an unforgivable imperialist dickhead sense of self-importance.... the old "I didn't like the look of P, so A"

where A, for eeka who thinks her MIT degree makes her smart, stands for "made a deliberate decision to do something rude, hostile, and hurtful to P (another human being), because Eeka is superior and is allowed to make other human beings unhappy.

And no more excuses. "Cutting off" a cyclist with a car can get the cyclist killed.
CONSCIOUSLY DECIDING to do so is attempted manslaughter in my book, unless the asshole motorist who would do such a thing is 100% aware of everything the cyclist is "attending" to in that precise moment, knows if there are other bikes behind the one she is attacking, and knows the location and vector of every other vehicle and pedestrian within the range of influence of the situation.

Sort of that, do not fucking cut of anyone, ever, deliberately. When i used the phrase "god complex" to describe Eeka's unique expression of self-importance and disdain for the well-being of others, i was alluding to her pathetic, not-god-like-at-all lack of full knowledge of the local world-state as briefly covered in the above paragraph.

Eeka, you silly hater, if you want to teach a cyclist a lesson about wearing a helmet, buy helmets for some cyclists. Acting out and violence aren't going to do anything but lose you a mirror and some windows at best, and at worst, you're going to jail for vehicular manslaughter and your life will be ruined. Go that route if you must, but don't be upset when your ingenious acting out backfires terribly.

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1) eeka has an MIT degree? News to me.

2) You still don't seem to grasp the concept that the way she used "cutting off" and the way you're using "cutting off" are completely different. eeka's not saying she's trying to harm anybody. She's saying that she doesn't make special exceptions for people demonstrating a lack of regard for their own lives by riding in traffic without a helmet, not that she chases them down and runs them over.

3) OK, maybe it wasn't 30mph, but it was godawful fast to be riding on a sidewalk towards a knot of pedestrians, and it was certainly too fast to be riding across a controlled intersection when a) he couldn't see oncoming traffic, b) oncoming traffic had the green light, and c) he didn't even seem to notice that he almost got killed.

4) And you're being a jackass.

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...and raise you a "that makes no sense". eeka's license is going to be taken away for...honking? Failing to yield the right-of-way that belongs to her? Posting on UH? Disagreeing with you? wtf?

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Shame on you eeka. You are evil.

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Maybe someone should key your car if they ever see yourself or a passenger without their seatbelt. Might as well slash a tire if your hand gets near the cell phone.

Does that make sense too?

The second point actually does. A biker without a helmet is evaluating risk and deciding his or her riding style doesnt warrant the need. Sort of like you not putting on your seatbelt if youre going around a parking lot. Meanwhile, you using a phone is directly endangering everyone around you.

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I didn't say I ever harm anyone's bike, nor that I plan to do so. I have respect for other people's property.

Not wearing a seatbelt is also stupid. Feel free to honk at people who are doing it and not let them pull in front of you.

http://1smootshort.blogspot.com

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As far as I know only American cyclists typically wear helmets. They are quite uncommon, if not unheard of, in parts of Europe. ... and they have far fewer injuries/fatalities than we do. That being said, I wear a helmet, and would recommend others do, but I don't think it is such an awful thing not to do so.

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Because I am still alive to do so because I was wearing one 11 years ago this week.

I still have it. I smashed the side of it so hard that it split up the back and is quite noticeably deformed. I would most certainly have suffered a fatal hematoma given the location and force of the injury.

There is a word for people who don't wear helmets or run lights habitually: suicyclists. I just love it when some lame young hipster without a helmet takes 27 unnecessary and potentially lethal risks and ends up half a block behind my slow middle aged gigantarumpus because they haven't used a simple low tech item known as a map.

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Don't forget: you are an ignorant Massachusetts driver, so you're pointing the finger at yourself as well.

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I can't even tell who some of these replies are replying to anymore, not to mention I don't know how many different anons there are. Can't we all just get along ignorantly?

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BikeNow is one of three companies competing for the contract. Expect an announcement from Menino about the winner within the next 2 weeks.

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