Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: The Cycle Frolic

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  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Jolisa,

    Anyone know at what point bike racks will be added to Auckland buses?

    Auckland buses are subcontracted to a private enterprise (in the name of efficiency). Since there is no value to the private company to add bike racks to a bus it will never happen. Such bikes racks are only a value to the community, which sadly has lost any control over the buses other than subsidizing them.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4450 posts Report Reply

  • Kelvin Tuck, in reply to jb,

    I'll second that jb. I live in a city of around 150,000 in Germany and the authorities have made it a bit pointless to use a car to get around; with cycle lanes bikes are normally faster from A to B and it's a lot easier to find a park (i.e. a post).

    Also with enough bike paths, serious injury is less likely, helmets are less necessary and more people are willing to jump on a bike without the hassle of carting a helmet around all day or tying it up in the weather. Of the hundreds of people I see on a bike every day maybe 5% feel it necessary to wear a helmet. Now whether NZ would remove such safety legislation...

    a slightly bigger town in… • Since Feb 2014 • 1 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    Bus-ness as usual, then...

    Since there is no value to the private company to add bike racks to a bus it will never happen.

    But surely it adds a customer ($), and potentially takes another car off the road - why couldn't they see that as something that could grow their business's attractiveness and viability - and perhaps a nod to their part in the 'holistic whole' of the transport options - or are they blinkered to other income streams?

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7886 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    no value to the private company to add bike racks to a bus

    there is if it's part of the next revised contract

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19680 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to Sacha,

    no value to the private company to add bike racks to a bus

    there is if it’s part of the next revised contract

    Yes - here in Chch private companies tender for the routes. But cycle racks are part of the deal, end of story.

    For people wondering how they work, there are pictures here . There's a wee bit of a knack to getting the bike on and off, but once you've done it a few times it's easy. And drivers are mostly happy to help if you are having difficulties.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3887 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    surely it adds a customer ($), and potentially takes another car off the road – why couldn’t they see that as something that could grow their business’s attractiveness and viability

    I look forward to the time where providing facilities for cycles is a no-brainer. If cycling were seen as a normal way to get around, we wouldn’t have to argue the cost vs. benefits, any more than we do about wheelchairs or pushchairs.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3887 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Lilith __,

    we wouldn’t have to argue the cost vs. benefits, any more than we do about wheelchairs

    current govt is trying to exclude wheelchair access as a requirement of quake-strengthening work - to save building owners money.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19680 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    But surely it adds a customer ($), and potentially takes another car off the road – why couldn’t they see that as something that could grow their business’s attractiveness and viability – and perhaps a nod to their part in the ‘holistic whole’ of the transport options – or are they blinkered to other income streams?

    Aha, but if the alternative for the customer is to chain up their bike and catch a bus, then they have to pay for two rides, one to get back to their bike.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10633 posts Report Reply

  • Glen Koorey, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    You can on the ferries, and I understand most of the buses on Waiheke have bike racks. But it wouldn’t hurt anyone to suggest to Auckland Transport that would a useful piece of kit to make standard on new and upgraded fleet. (IIRC, Wellington and Christchurch have run pilots but don't know if that's gone anywhere.)

    Chch ran the national trial for bikes on buses in 2007-08 (the then-legislation didn't allow for "protrusions" on the front of buses). Since then they've rolled them out on all their services as the contracts have been renewed. Currently they average more than 100 uses a day in Chch - see http://cyclingchristchurch.co.nz/2013/04/10/bikes-on-buses-latest-stats/ for more details.

    I don't recall Wgtn running any trials on buses; in fact they've gotten a lot of grief for delaying their introduction there. Meanwhile you can also find bike racks on buses in Nelson, New Plymouth, Napier/Hastings, Gisborne, Timaru and Dunedin.

    Christchurch • Since Apr 2013 • 19 posts Report Reply

  • Glen Koorey, in reply to Stephen Judd,

    Business in Auckland today. Suddenly struck me, taxiing back to the airport, how there are no cycle lanes on Pah Rd or similar arteries the way that there are on Harewood, Memorial Ave etc in Christchurch. There’s room for them – cut back some berm and put them on the far side of the parked cars.

    Your memory is deceiving you; there are no cycle lanes on Harewood or Memorial (but there are on Wairakei and Fendalton). But it's certainly true that, more often than not, main arterials in Chch feature cycle lanes. Or at least space for cycling at intersections, which are often the most critical parts of the network (e.g. even Memorial Ave has cycle lanes approaching most signalised intersections). Just having some space (formal or otherwise) makes the world of difference for those already cycling.

    Christchurch • Since Apr 2013 • 19 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd, in reply to Glen Koorey,

    Your memory is deceiving you

    Quite right. It had been a long day.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to Sacha,

    we wouldn’t have to argue the cost vs. benefits, any more than we do about wheelchairs

    current govt is trying to exclude wheelchair access as a requirement of quake-strengthening work – to save building owners money.

    That's appalling.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3887 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to Glen Koorey,

    Currently they average more than 100 uses a day in Chch – see http://cyclingchristchurch.co.nz/2013/04/10/bikes-on-buses-latest-stats/ for more details.

    Fascinating, glad to see that.

    Many people may be intimidated about loading their bike while the other passengers watch and wait. But I hope with ongoing use of the racks that it becomes less scary and just a normal thing.

    The clamps on the racks go on the top of the front wheel, and they don't fit kids' bikes. They're also not ideal for bikes with mudguards. I slip the clamp under my mudguard which has caused some damage to it.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3887 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __,

    Cycle service on buses in Dunedin seems to be fairly limited .
    Only four routes, and only on Saturdays and weekdays before 6.30pm!

    I hope ORC gets their act together and makes bike racks standard. And not carrying bikes at night? What craziness is this?

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3887 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Lilith __,

    yet oh so typical

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19680 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    But surely it adds a customer ($), and potentially takes another car off the road – why couldn’t they see that as something that could grow their business’s attractiveness and viability – and perhaps a nod to their part in the ‘holistic whole’ of the transport options

    Except none of those things reduce costs or increase revenue. They couldn't give a rats arse about cars on the road, in fact more cars makes the bus more attractive.

    The point is that unless the council place an additional motivation on the bus company (tender conditions as suggested) then the monopoly that is our Auckland buses will not do a thing for bikes.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4450 posts Report Reply

  • Jolisa, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    As my wise sister was saying just last night over Waitangi Day cocktails (and just the other day on Twitter): Political leadership. Political leadership. Political leadership.

    We can bubble and foment and brainstorm all we like from the tarmac-level, but only when someone at the top says "Let's do it, and let's do it now" will it actually happen.

    Which is 50/50 wildly frustrating and oddly hopeful. Because, when it happens with political will behind it, it happens overnight - see what New York did. NEW YORK CITY!

    Maybe the latest research from the University of Auckland will help tip the minds at the top of our bicycling bucket fountain? Cycling infrastructure investment is about the cheapest transportation thing you can do for the biggest return, in this case "more than $20 in benefit to society for every dollar spent over the next 40 years."

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1472 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Sacha,

    current govt is trying to exclude wheelchair access as a requirement of quake-strengthening work - to save building owners money

    Here's a local Fairfax story about it. Weakly resisted, as usual.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19680 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    The point is that unless the council place an additional motivation on the bus company (tender conditions as suggested) then the monopoly that is our Auckland buses will not do a thing for bikes.

    The Regional Council is in charge of public transport. They tender the day-to-day running out to private companies, but it's the Council that dictates the terms. If the council says bike racks, there have to be bike racks.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3887 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Lilith __,

    Auckland is a slightly different setup. Auckland Transport is the only body that negotiates the contracts with bus companies across our region. Auckland Council (which covers city and regional level functions) can say they want something done, but they are over-ridden (by design) by whatever the government wants. Which goes a long way to explaining the current woeful spend on cycling infrastructure and the shocking condition of some local roads as the maintenance money is diverted into building motorways.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19680 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to Sacha,

    Auckland Council (which covers city and regional level functions) can say they want something done, but they are over-ridden (by design) by whatever the government wants.

    Huh. Supercity! Remind me why that was a good idea?

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3887 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Lilith __,

    Ask the consultants who got paid $250k to investiage the mayor's philandering and you'll get some idea. The right of the Nats and Act still want to privatise as many parts as they can, hence the design of the CCOs. Just give em another term in govt..

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19680 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Sacha,

    current govt is trying to exclude wheelchair access as a requirement of quake-strengthening work – to save building owners money.

    And quite possibility ending up paying big later on, due to discrimination lawsuits. Seems how it rolls in litigation-happy America.

    On the other hand, we've seen how acolytes of Disaster Capitalism can pull a karma Houdini when backed into a corner by litigation. Case in point? The Climate Science Coalition vs NIWA case.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5415 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd, in reply to Jolisa,

    Political leadership. Political leadership. Political leadership.

    Yep. Which implies:
    - working with relevant existing advocacy organisations to help them be strong and figure out proposals and costings and make press releases and run events and make submissions and do all that good shit that always falls to the same few people who really care.
    - working with politicians and political parties at local and national levels and make them see what's in it for them and for everyone

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Stephen Judd,

    exactly. and the same applies to disability reform. lack of people who can see what needs doing and have the skills and energy to do it long enough and smart enough to work.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19680 posts Report Reply

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