Sunday, July 29, 2012

Folding Bike Hire in London

The most innovative cycle hire scheme of the UK is launched at Manchester Piccadilly Station in partnership with Virgin Trains. Parliamentary under-Secretary of State for Transport, Norman Baker MP, was with us at this delightful occasion. Located just outside the main entrance of Manchester Piccadilly, Brompton Dock will be accessible for anyone who would like to hire a British hand-made folding Brompton bike. With no restrictions on public transport and Virgin Trains allowing the bikes on their network during peak hours, the Brompton bike is set to become a mainstay on the streets in and around Manchester. Norman Baker MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport, said: "This innovation really showcases what can be achieved when two transport providers come together to establish an end-to-end journey solution." The dock at Manchester Piccadilly Station will host 40 bikes. Become a member now to enjoy the most convenient and flexible cycling experience. Brompton Dock is growing rapidly and spreading throughout the UK. They aim to reach 17 locations by the end of 2012 and International expansion is the next step.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Growing Pains

Citi Bike will  not begin as scheduled. “We’re working on the launch plan and will update the public as soon as we finalize all the details,” said Seth Solomonow, a spokesman for the Transportation Department, who confirmed the program would not begin in July. Now, with an uncertain start date and little explanation being given, community leaders, program partners and eager riders find themselves with more questions than answers. Where are the bikes? When will the dock stations be installed? And can it all fall into place while the quiet streets and accommodating weather of summer remain? “It’s almost like getting that bicycle that you wanted for your birthday or for Christmas,” said Paul Steely White, the executive director of Transportation Alternatives, which has worked alongside the Transportation Department to promote the program. The program, which is expected to include 10,000 bicycles by next summer, will allow members who pay an annual fee of $95 to shuttle between stations for up to 45 minutes without an additional charge. In a radio interview on Friday, Mayor. Bloomberg suggested that impatience was a sign of the city’s growing acceptance of bicycles. “It’s fascinating,” he said. “The people who did not want bicycle lanes at all are now screaming, ‘Well, where are they? Where are they? I want them quickly.’ Read more in NYT here.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Amsterdam OV Fiets not suitable for tourists

In a comparative study on bicycle sharing systems, the German ADAC sharply criticizes the OV-fiets (rental bicycles operated by Dutch Railways) in Amsterdam. Along with the Hague, the capital is at the bottom of the ranking of 40 European bicycle-sharing systems. Information is only available in Dutch, it’s not possible to rent a bicycle without first registering and bicycles have no suspension and gears. The criteria show that ADAC is primarily looks at the bicycles from the point of view of tourists. Last year, a study by the Fietsersbond showed that the Dutch are very satisfied: 96% of users spontaneously recommend the OV-fiets to friends and acquaintances. There is some room for improvement regarding the availability and quality of the bicycles. The best system in the ADAC test is vĂ©lo’v in Lyon. Introducing a similar system in Amsterdam has often been discussed, but this has not been done because there is no room on the sidewalks for bicycle rental stations and because Amsterdammers already own bicycles. Expanding OV-fiets is considered a more feasible option. The Dutch OV-Fiets however was never intended for tourists who are encouraged to rent with bike rental shops, that also service tourists with routes and tours.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Growing Pains: New York Going After Unsafe Delivery Cyclists

They churn their legs against the traffic, dart between sidewalk-clogging pedestrians, and, according to city officials, pay only occasional mind to the signs and signals that govern the streets. A food deliveryman riding the wrong direction down Columbus Avenue on Friday in Manhattan. A city campaign is seeking to curb such traffic violations. Deliverymen from Lenny’s restaurant listening to a news conference on the city’s new initiative for bicycle delivery safety. But some of the delivery cyclists who run afoul of the law do so with a quintessential New York City goal: making sure the hot food in their bags remains that way. Beginning next week, a six-person team of department inspectors will patrol, door to door, across the Upper West Side, providing information to businesses about commercial cycling laws. The plan is expected to extend into other areas of the city, and by early 2013, businesses that continue to violate the laws may receive fines of up to $300, the agency said. “New Yorkers want everything in a New York minute,” said Janette Sadik-Khan, the city’s transportation commissioner. “But businesses that depend on bike deliveries can’t cut corners on safety.” Read More in NYT

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Cycling and the environment

Without any consultation with the electric bicycle sector, the European institutions included  electric bikes up to 25 km/h and a motor output up to 250 W in a regulation called RoHS II. This means that manufacturers would have to ensure and, if asked, prove that no Lead, Cadmium, Hexavalent Chromium, Polybrominated biphenyls (PBB) and Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE) have been used, not only in the electrical and electronic components but also in no other vehicle component. Consequently, as of January 2, 2013, the CE-mark could only be affixed to pedelecs which are as a whole in compliance with the RoHS II-Directive. The European Twowheel Retail Association (ETRA) argued strongly against inclusion of e-bikes in this regulation. This would not contribute to reaching the objectives of the Directive and has therefore no beneficial impact. A new advice in the form of a draft fact sheet on electric bicycles now concludes “Overall, the inclusion of electric bicycles in the scope of RoHS II is expected to have very limited impacts, whether that is in environmental, economic or social terms.We will keep you posted on developments; also read here.