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Train designed for recumbent bikes

Commuter trains designed to easily accomodate recumbent bikes would solve "last mile" problem
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In communities less dense than major cities getting the last mile (or 3) from the train station is a real pain, requiring you to have a car waiting at your stop.

If you could have a train designed to load and unload people in their own comfortable recumbent weatherproof tricyle bikes -which they would stay in during the ride- people could ride from the stations on both ends to their destinations. The bikes hoods could retract so you could chat if you wanted.

You could have the train automatically pull you on and push you off the train at the appropriate stop so you can nap or read.

Since the bikes are low you could have trains with 2 levels that would make up for the additional space the bikes take up.

The bikes would have the benefit of exercise for the traveler, although you could have a power assist or even totally powered bikes for infirm people.

The bikes would have to be somewhat uniform to fit in the slots in the trains, but they would be much cheaper than cars to buy and run.

macrumpton, May 25 2004

(?) Commuter Trike http://www.lightfoo...les.com/grmodel.htm
Somewhat gratuitous link to a recumbent trike design I had some small part in. [baconbrain, Jul 08 2005]

SHIFT Trike-Bike http://www.cbsnews....ch/main693303.shtml
Although, it's technically STILL a trike, no matter what configuration it's in... [utexaspunk, Jul 09 2005]

[link]






       Instead of people owning the bikes, why not just rent them out at the train? presumably you're riding the train back as well.
5th Earth, May 26 2004
  

       You could rent them out, but they would be handy for getting around town and doing small shopping trips, so you would want it with you most of the time. Maybe you get the bike usage as part of your season pass on the train.   

       The concept here is that with with a robust public transportation system that solves the "last mile" problem you would hardly ever use your car.
macrumpton, May 26 2004
  

       "...in their own comfortable recumbent weatherproof tricyle bikes..."   

       Correct me if I'm wrong, but is it not impossible for something to be both a bicycle AND a tricycle? bi = 2, tri = 3. So call them trikes.   

       Neat idea, though...
utexaspunk, Jul 08 2005
  

       I'll correct you because you're wrong ;-) There's a new pedal-powered vehicle that progressively changes from a trike to a bike depending on the speed of the vehicle. It has won a few design awards.
bristolz, Jul 08 2005
  

       I ride a recumbent bicycle, and really cannot go back to regular bikes. The bike is so comfortable that I use it as a seat at outdoor events--something I'd never do on a ten-speed. This idea has great merit on the basis of using a recumbent as the seat on a train.   

       The bike/trike confusion takes a lot away from the idea, though. A two-wheeled bike that fit into a slot/clamp system to stay upright might work. A three-wheeled trike that stayed up by itself would be better in some ways, but have some disadvantages.   

       The train station at Cambridge had a space outside that was packed with commuter's bikes, and a sign pointing toward rental bikes. Bikes, trikes and trains would be a good mix, but the system will have to be well designed to be better than a passenger train and one folding bike or two cheap bikes.
baconbrain, Jul 08 2005
  

       [bristolz], I've seen that bi/trike before, and i knew SOMEONE would be pedantic enough to mention it... :) Lemme see if I can find a link to it...
utexaspunk, Jul 09 2005
  
      
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