Steve Ahlquist is a writer, artist and current president of the Humanists of Rhode Island, a non-profit group dedicated to reason, compassion, optimism and action. He also maintains the blog SteveAhlquist.com where almost all his writing can be found. The views expressed are his own and not necessarily those of any organization of which he is a member.

His photos and video are usable under the Creative Commons license. Free to share with credit.

Email: atomicsteve@gmail.com.
Twitter: @SteveAhlquist

6 responses to “Providence needs a bike share program”

  1. cailin rua

    Bike share certainly seems like a great idea whose time should have come long ago but you don’t even scratch the surface where Citibank’s involvement in this program is concerned.  What kind of quid pro quo is involved with all that advertising designed to make Citbank appear to be the altruistic entity that it obviously is not?  Definitely, there are very encouraging aspects to this scenario along with other, what seem to me, disturbing aspects.

  2. cailin rua

    There are numerous links if you Google “Citibank corporate sponsorship of Citibike”  Motherboard has a fairly good analysis.  Leslie Greenberg has, probably, a better one in the NYU Journalistic Institute’s blog but I thought the quotes from 

    BY STEVE SMITH / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
    SUNDAY, MAY 20, 2012, 4:18 AM

    were even more interesting, if not telling:


    Bring on brand-name parks and libraries 
    Let CitiBike pave the way for many more such deals

    But to me, what makes Citi Bike so compelling is not that it is a green program (although that is an important benefit), or that it provides a new, cheaper means of transportation around the city.
    “What captures my imagination — probably because I work in the corporate sponsorship business — is the fact that Citi Bike represents a new way for private dollars to help make possible a program with important public benefits.”
    Financial giant Citi is spending $41 million to plaster its logo on every rental station; MasterCard is putting up another $6.5 million. The companies gain exposure, and New Yorkers and tourists get the bikes.
    Which begs a natural question: Shouldn’t we be exploring other ways for corporate brands to bankroll other common goods?”
     
    Private money?  How much did Citibank get out of the bailout?

    1. cailin rua

      Interesting!  I can reply to a comment in moderation.  Should I have also posted that Daily News link?

      Anyway, here is the way private and public dollars are intermingled in the case of Citibank.  I had to reach beyond Google’s page one, though, to find an analysis that digs down deeply enough to uncover what the 7 to 8 billion Citibank turned back over to the Feds doesn’t mean and how an establishment media, dependent on advertising revenue, simply promotes more CitiSlicker hype:

      www.cjr.org/the_audit/was_the_citi_bailout_really_a.php

      1. cailin rua

        I copied the link to the Columbia Journalism Review correctly.  I don’t know how it links to the Daily News article I previously quoted.  What a mess.  Here is the CJR link again.  Sorry to clutter up the update board:

        www.cjr.org/the_audit/was_the_citi_bailout_really_a.php

      2. cailin rua

        FWIW, this is the comment I was referring to as being in moderation, which it still appears to be. :

        There are numerous links if you Google “Citibank corporate sponsorship of Citibike”  Motherboard has a fairly good analysis.  Leslie Greenberg has, probably, a better one in the NYU Journalistic Institute’s blog but I thought the quotes from Steven Smith’s article in the New York Daily News 
        were even more interesting, if not telling(the article is can be reached by clicking on the link to the Columbia Journalism Review in the reply I made to the comment in moderation.  It will take you to the N Y Daily News article.  Just don’t ask me how):


        Bring on brand-name parks and libraries 
        Let CitiBike pave the way for many more such deals . . .”
        But to me, what makes Citi Bike so compelling is not that it is a green program (although that is an important benefit), or that it provides a new, cheaper means of transportation around the city.”

        “What captures my imagination — probably because I work in the corporate sponsorship business — is the fact that Citi Bike represents a new way for private dollars to help make possible a program with important public benefits.”
        Financial giant Citi is spending $41 million to plaster its logo on every rental station; MasterCard is putting up another $6.5 million. The companies gain exposure, and New Yorkers and tourists get the bikes.”
        “Which begs a natural question: Shouldn’t we be exploring other ways for corporate brands to bankroll other common goods?”
         
        Private money?  How much did Citibank get out of the bailout?
        I’ll wrap up the point I am trying to make right here.  I believe state, local, the federal government and non profits become dependent on these corporate sponsorships.  I believe it gives corporations even more power – power over which direction government will take.  Your post reads like a promotion for Citibank more than anything else.  I cannot believe you linked to an article about raising revenue through fines as if it were a good thing.  

        Sorry, you totally lost me here.

        I also have to say that, although R I Future’s software isn’t as frustrating as Go Local’s is to work with,  that isn’t saying much.

  3. Art Handy

    We definitely need to integrate bike sharing in our transportation system.  I’d urge bike share fans to check out www.onbikeshare.com/ a partner of Dynamic Bicycles, www.dynamicbicycles.com/resources/howtovideos.php, a Brisitol, RI based bike company that makes chainless bikes that are awesome for this purpose with low tech locking options, likely making the system cheaper as well as more local. 

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