Got some great comments so far. Jay’s been particularly active in the comments and he offers some great advice/opinions etc.
So, his latest question was, “what do you do with the rent-a-bikes in the winter?”
Hmmm… good question. France was pretty mild (my year there was actually the worst they had ever had- usually don’t get snow). Not exactly here.
I know that Toronto was thinking about the project (trying to find the Star article now but can’t…this ran last summer when I just got back). So, if they were thinking about it, Ottawa could at least give it a thought.
My solution? Hard to say, but probably would take them away for the winters. Winter biking can be pretty dangerous although just by quickly googling “Ottawa winter biking”, I got some interesting finds. One says that Ottawa roads are great 88% of the time, another one showed pictures of his frozen beard and ruined bike. So… yeah, I’d probably take them away during the winter. I have this feeling that some crazy New Year’s Eve partiers would somehow think that taking them out for a ride in the snow while intoxicated would be a good idea.
Again, perhaps I’m just an optimist, but I still think that this could work. The system could shut down for a few months in the winter but be back up for spring, summer, fall. Even then, think about this past December…. it felt like March!
Who knows, maybe with global warming, we could have this all year round:)
Good friend just passed me this too:
Two years ago we reported on Lyon’s city bike hire program. A user pays version of the garishly coloured schemes of similar ilk that have been available in Northern Europe for years. Then we observed London, Paris and Barcelona had rolled out similar programs. (Petz did a recap here). Toronto didn’t want to be outdone, so had the Community Bicycle Network, which ran it’s Yellow Bikes, until operations were suspended this year, though we think the University of Calgary might still have their U-bike program to help Canada save face.