Bike share/rent/vending successful after all?
Chicago Sun-Times: Bike rentals take off in city
Well, being a snob, I still have to complain.
"There has been 'significant traffic' between the Museum Campus and Navy Pier."
Well, duh. The one part of the whole city that absolutely does not need significantly more bike traffic is getting significantly more bike traffic.
"[Bike and Roll Chicago owner Josh Squire is] also discussing options with the CTA and Metra that could bolster cycling to work as a fair-weather option for commuters."
Hasn't the Chicagoland Bicycle Federation been doing that for decades already? Come on, this isn't news. Oh, right---the Chicagoland Bicycle Federation doesn't exist anymore. So now the most exposure that most people will get to "Chicago Bicycle [Anything]" will be this guy's rental empire---and naturally they're going to start turning to him as the City Bike Person. "I want to bike to work. Can you make it easier to take Metra and then ride a bike?" "Sure, I'll get right on it." Their other option is to reach out to mob-rule Chicago Critical Mass, which inspires "safety" minded riders to ride out in front of a CTA bus. Meanwhile, something called the Active Transportation Alliance is nagging drivers to slow down and praising red light cameras.*
One final thought: The rental season is 7 months long. Memberships are $35, $45, and $55 for 30, 60, or 90 days, respectively. That's $145 per season. Do this for 2 or 3 seasons, and you may as well bought your own bike that you could have kept anywhere and ridden even on mild days in winter. In fact, you probably should just buy your own bike, since that's hella expensive compared to bike sharing programs in other cities.
*Yes, I still think we threw away most of our political and social influence when "Chicago" and "Bicycle" were stripped from the name, and the practical implications of the new vision/mission seem to have wandered somewhat. Maybe I should start my own bike advocacy organization. With blackjack! And hookers! [/Bender] Or maybe it really is time now for there not to be a special bike advocacy organization anymore, since bicycling is supposed to be so "normal" now anyway. But then again, that kind of thinking results in people not getting their kids vaccinated against deadly diseases that "normal" people don't get. And that's how babies die of pertussis. And then I have to read about it all night.