Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Cardboard Bicycles

Izar Gafni claims his bike made almost entirely of cardboard can be made in highly automated production lines for $9 per bike. If this proves to be true it could transform urban living. Toronto has 1000 Bixi bikes, it cost $95 a year for a membership. Imagine instead you buy 10 bikes, and then sell advertising on your bikes, so to have a bike available may cost $50 a year. Flood the streets with bikes, no one will steal them, as there is no gain to be had. Likely it will become futile to steal even expensive bikes because the market for them will be so exclusive.

 Imagine universal free access to a bike everywhere in Toronto. To buy 10,000 bikes would cost less than $100,000. I hope someone who loves bikes walks into City Hall and lays $100,000 on the counter. GO  could buy 10,000 and place them at stations, maybe 10 to 20% of commuters would leave the car and take the bike. Thereby increasing parking capacity by the same amount, and taking thousands of cars off the road, reducing gridlock and increasing sustainablity.