How bike-sharing could spur revamp of transit fares in Portland
The current Central City Bike Share plan would place kiosks and rental bikes across an area that's the same as the new streetcar loop, which is being extended to the east side from the Lloyd District south to OMSI. In many ways, bike-sharing is similar to public transit. Successful systems are inexpensive (free if used less than 30 minutes), widely available to everyone, and in most cases at least partly subsidized by the government.
[Rick Gustafson, Director of Operations for the Portland streetcar loop]
"One of the things you could do is get rid of Free Rail Zone, but replace it with a readily available bike [share] program so people could still circulate for 30 minutes at no cost." Or, put another way, "Reshape the fareless zone to put a greater emphasis on carbon-free circulation; and the best free circulation in the Central City probably ought to be on bikes."
So the smarter than the rest of us urban planners now want to "rent" government subsidized bikes to anyone to ride downtown. For free. What could go wrong?
Are the same people who think it violates civil rights to require ID to vote going to require ID to rent a bike?
Will requiring a credit card swipe to leave a deposit be discriminatory against the poor who don't have good credit?
Will the transgender folks be able to choose between a girls bike or a boys bike?
I really feel like showing up to some hearing on this idea and throwing out all these liberal arguments to ensure that every homeless bum in Portland has the opportunity to steal a taxpayer paid for bike.