Wednesday, May 07, 2008

TOO MANY folding bikes?

Here is a BBC article about the problem of TOO MANY folding bikes fighting the space with other passengers in the London tube: "The bicycle backlash unfolds," by Claire Heald. BBC News (Magazine), 06 May 2008.

"The bicycle. It's the model of green transport and sales of folding ones that fit on trains are stepping up a gear. But as they multiply, so does rush-hour resentment, as commuters and cyclists come to blows."

I do hope the announced trial to allow folding bike in the MRT will be organized such that, while getting more people to Cycle-to-MRT, does not cause inconvenient to other passengers.

Some suggest restrict the folding bikes to off-peak so that they won't affect commuters during the peak hours. But that would drastically reduce the usefulness of a folding bike, being an ideal commuter companion, isn't it?

Anothers idea is to remove the seats in the first or last cart to make more rooms available for folders. In a sense, the cyclist "paying" the space by not having the seats.

What else can we do to make folding bike, and eventually bicycle be part of a seamless MRT+ system?


keeyanho said...

For those who live in the heartlands, what's needed are proper bicycle parking facilities at the MRT stations. Instead of taking feeder buses or driverless railcars, they ride a bike to the MRT station to get to work elsewhere in Singapore, leaving the bike chained to a fence, railing or a poor apology for a bike-park rack, hopefully still there in the evening when they return from work and need it to go home. There's been many promises to build proper bike-parking facilities, but they are so far just promises. Sad.

Anonymous said...

Prams take up more space than folding bikes. There are people with shopping bags or luggage much larger than a folding bike. I think we're still quite far from the day when the number of MRT riders with folding bikes exceeds the number that currently ride with prams or large pieces of luggage, so such worries are premature.

Back2Nature said...

I didn't try it but I like what I saw in the Netherlands. People who took train with their bicycle need to buy a ticket for their bike, and there are dedicated cart for them. However, if there's need for bicycle tickets, similar apply to pram and other sizeable objects :)

Combination of restricted time and carts would be nice, i.e. only certain labeled carts are for folding bike during peak hours.

Those involve need a study trip to the Nethelands, London, Berlin and similar places where bicycles are quite popularly being used.