Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Why 30 Minutes?

So many people ask the question? Why just 30 minutes? Why can't you use the bike for as long as you want? What's the point? There are actually several good, and, quite logical explanations as to why each ride is limited to 30 minutes. And, don't you worry. The majority of systems abide by this policy, so don't think you are getting ripped off just because you live in San Antonio! :)

So... Why 30 Minutes?

  • To get you where you are going- the system is built for quick trips. That is why the stations are so close to eachother. You never need more than 30 minutes to get from station to station. Also, the more stations that inhabit an area, the more practical a bike share system is to use as transportation in an urban setting. Density is key, which is why we are continuing to expand the system here in San Antonio with more stations!

  • It is designed to be a bike SHARING program, not a RENTAL program. The 30 minute limits help the ebbs and flows of bike denisty among the stations to ensure that bikes are always available to people. If they were used for longer use, then the availability of the bikes and the stock balance of bikes would become drastically uneven, decreasing the convenience and efficiency of the program. Bikes need to be coming in/out of the stations constantly to make the system work. Circulation is key in this case!

  • Hop on - Hop off like the bus- the system is intended to be used like the bus system, as a form of Public transportation. You can use it to grab lunch, run an errand, or any other short trip to eliminate the hassle of having to get in your car and find parking and pay for it, which is especially a hassle in a downtown/urban setting. It can also supplement a bus trip and get you closer to your destination. Think... Ellis Alley Station or VIA Super Stop. :)

  • It is reccommended to get at least 30 minutes of exercise each day. What better way of getting it than using bike share recreationally? So fun. However, if you are more of a marthonner than a cruiser, you can always rent a bike from a bike shop if you want a longer recreational ride, or you can opt in to keeping a b-cycle for the full 24 hours and pay the maximum daily overage fees of $35 (which is comparable to what a bike rental shop would charge you for a 1-day rental).


    PS- Anyone else out there have an insight they want to enlighten the group with on this very "touchy" subject? :) Do SHARE...


    B-fit, B-green, B-cycle


    1. I think the problem is the limit flies in the face of our national attitude towards biking, being auto centric as our society is.
      Biking is seen as open ended, a lark, a relatively lengthy experience.
      I see people at kiosks every time I ride scratching their heads trying to grok it, then walking away bikeless.
      But I've used the system for over 1,350 miles, and never incurred an extra charge.
      So it's really not that big an issue. I cruise around downtown and always dock in whenever I'm near a kiosk, so never even think about the time.

    2. That being said, I think we have a special case here in sa, tourism is our lifeblood, but a tourist may be less inclined to check out b-cycles because they are unfamiliar with the surroundings.
      From a tourist standpoint, the kiosk locations are limited. The alamo of course, market square, the art museum, hemisfair park, the blue star, even Pearl are tourist destinations, but other than the first three, minor ones.
      But if you add the already announced but in question mission reach locations, then add the zoo parking lot, the Witte, and the botanical gardens to the north, you have a righteous roster of top notch tourist access for a great price. They'll try it one day and be glad to do it again.
      For locals, the majestic, the robert e lee, and the alamodome would help cover downtown better.

    3. At first the limit drove me crazy, and now it's become part of a game, racing to clock in just under the time limit.

    4. You add a tourist poster at each kiosk listing all these locations and I think they would be more inclined to wrap their heads around the 30 minute thing and go with the flow, and love it.

    5. So lets say I need to b-cycle from the Blue Star up to the Pearl. Google maps thinks this would take 20-22 minutes. But what if I'm a leisurely rider, or stop for a Paleta, or get lost and need directions and exceed the 22 minute estimate nearing 40 minutes...then I am charged a $2 fee? It is either pay the fee or to dock my bike at lets say Alamo Plaza or SAMA to reset the 30 minute timer. Kinda lame, but I guess.

    6. The fenders really highlight the whitewall tires as well, yet another feature that makes it one of the flashiest and fun-looking cruisers around Affordable Cruiser Bicycle.