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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
-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.
(?) Commuter Trike
Somewhat gratuitous link to a recumbent trike design I had some small part in. [baconbrain, Jul 08 2005]
Although, it's technically STILL a trike, no matter what configuration it's in... [utexaspunk, Jul 10 2005]
||Instead of people owning the bikes, why not just rent them out at the train? presumably you're riding the train back as well.
||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.
||"...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.
||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.
||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.
||[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...