Tuesday, February 2, 2016
Who Knows If Fort Worth's Bike Share Program Has Failed Like Seattle's?
I did not know, til yesterday, via an article in the Seattle Times titled Bike share’s failure deflates Seattle’s self-image that Seattle had a bike share operation, like the one that operates in Fort Worth.
That would make this blogging sort of a variant of our popular series of bloggings about something I read via a west coast news source which I would not expect to be reading in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
Apparently Seattle's bike share program has been rolling for only one year. When the plan was announced there was a lot of opposition. But, despite the objections, the city went ahead with the bike sharing.
I remember back when Fort Worth started its bike sharing program someone asked me if such a thing existed in Seattle. I remember saying I don't think such a thing would work there, due to it being very hilly and downtown is so busy with traffic and pedestrians, riding a bike would be hazardous. And that people in Seattle, who are into biking, already would have a bike. And that tourists staying downtown would not want to try and explore on a bike, as it would be too hazardous.
So, the various Seattle bike share kiosks were generating only about $30 a day, which apparently has not been enough revenue to make the operation solvent.
The Seattle Times article I read about the Seattle bike share failure was so different than an article one reads in the Star-Telegram, in that the Seattle Times article is very detailed, very critical, sort of self-deprecating and pretty much comprehensive about the issue.
The first five sentences in this Seattle Times bike sharing article as an example of what I mean by critical and self-deprecating...
Who would have thought Seattle’s bike share program would struggle? Probably anyone who’s tried to cycle through downtown. The news that Seattle’s bike share program is insolvent only a year after opening is, symbolically anyway, a wound to Seattle’s green psyche. It could be due to mismanagement. Or a lame rollout. These were some of the reasons offered for how a bicycling program could falter so badly in a place that fancies itself as Bike City, USA.
And the article, since being published yesterday, has generated, when last I looked, 360 some comments.
More than 360 comments!
Intelligent, well-reasoned comments, the likes of which one rarely reads in the Star-Telegram. Recently the Star-Telegram published a breathless article about a million dollar tacky piece of supposed art being celebrated by America's Biggest Boondoggle. One would have thought such a subject would have caused oodles of locals to opine. Instead, mostly crickets chirping.
Click the Bike share’s failure deflates Seattle’s self-image link and read the article and some of the comments and you'll see what I mean about the total tonal difference between the Seattle Times and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
What explains such a stark difference? A better educated population? A more progressive, democratic population? A population used to opining on public issues? Used to having their voices heard?
Being totally blunt, which really is not my style, but why is the Fort Worth Star-Telegram so dumbed down?
How is the Fort Worth bike share program faring? Has it been a success? You don't really see all that many people rolling around town on those rental bikes. Has the Star-Telegram had an article about how the Fort Worth bike sharing program is doing after it being in operation for a year or two?