Comment 95953

By Kevin Love (anonymous) | Posted December 13, 2013 at 11:32:37

I could go through the exercise of estimating the population in the proposed service area. Then calculating the number of bicycles required to meet the minimum standard of 10-30 bikes per 1,000 people required to avoid system failure. Then comparing that number with the 650 bikes in the Hamilton plan. Then drawing the conclusion that there needs to be about 12 times as many bikes to avoid complete system failure.

But really, just eyeballing the map, I can save a lot of time. It is roughly the same as the previous ward-based estimates. So we've got about 275,000 people in the service area sharing 650 bikes.

Anyone seriously believe that a bike will be reliably available every time they need one?

Don't get me wrong. I support bike share. It has the potential to be a game-changer and make Hamilton a much better city for all its people. But to do that it has to be done right.

The cost of doing it right with a proper implementation with the right number of bikes is also very cheap. The cost of a good implementation will be so low as to be insignificant compared to any of the car infrastructure projects that Hamilton has thrown tens of millions of dollars at without blinking an eye.

It is not just me. These numbers for success come from the industry experts who put together the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy's "Bike Share Planning Guide."

This may be found at:

http://www.itdp.org/documents/ITDP_Bike_Share_Planning_Guide.pdf

See also the excellent video explaining the Guide at:

http://www.streetfilms.org/riding-the-bike-share-boom/

This really is a RTFM issue. Unfortunately, Hamilton is setting itself up for failure by putting too few bikes into the service area.

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