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如今,最热门的出行工具是什么?

如今,最热门的出行工具是什么?

David Z. Morris 2020年06月23日
不仅可以减少汽车拥堵,也可以避开容易感染病毒的密闭空间。

2020年4月12日,新冠病毒大流行期间苏豪区的骑车人。图:Noam Galai-Getty

就在6月8日纽约市解封之前几天,美国疾控中心给出的一项新指南令重启过程再添变数。该指南建议人们开车上下班,不要搭乘公共交通工具,以减少病毒的传播。

纽约市的官员们迅速作出回应,称疾控中心的建议并不适合本市,且有可能导致交通恶化。不过,倒是有一种替代方案:骑自行车。这样不仅可以减少汽车拥堵,也可以避开容易感染病毒的密闭空间。

与之相应,人们似乎也在调整通勤方式。数据显示,自行车和共享单车短期租赁服务的使用量在一定程度上有所增加。

需求的增长(以及因疫情造成的生产中断)已导致纽约和北达科他等地区的自行车供应出现短缺。根据调研公司ITDP的数据,自城市解禁以来,北京的共享单车使用量增长了150%。与此同时,总部位于欧洲的共享单车运营商Nextbike表示,今年4月和5月的用户数量同比增长了35%。伦敦交通部门估计,骑自行车的人数增加了10倍。费城的共享单车服务商Indego也称自行车的使用量有所上升,但没有透露具体数字。

纽约市的情况相对复杂,但同样显露出了未来可能增长的迹象。3月初,当人们意识到新冠病毒已迅速传播,但尚未封城时,该市的Citi Bike共享单车系统使用量增长了67%。Citi Bike的总经理劳拉•福克斯称,受居家令影响,4月的单车使用量同比下降60%。到了5月,虽然仍未解封,但使用量同比仅下降20%。福克斯认为,随着城市重启,共享单车的使用量将显著上升。

参考2005年纽约市交通工人大罢工和2012年飓风桑迪之后的情况,她还预计,人们通勤习惯的改变将是长久的。上述两起事件均严重影响了地铁系统,并使该市的自行车使用量增长了20%。(当然,这两次持续性增长是从总体而言,与2013年成立的Citi Bike自身并无关系。)

美国自行车联盟的政策主管肯•麦克劳德表示,新冠疫情造成的经济下滑有可能进一步推动自行车市场的繁荣。根据美国汽车协会的数据,在美国拥有汽车的成本平均接近9300美元。公共交通的年消费浮动较大,总体而言接近1000美元。各共享单车系统的使用价格也不尽相同,但Citi Bike的年费仅为169美元。如果失业率居高不下,上述成本的差异将成为影响出行方式的重要因素。

即便是共享单车发展较为缓慢的城市,也在采取行动,为可能到来的变化做准备。“人们对推出新系统突然有了强烈的兴趣,”Lime的首席政策官戴维•斯皮尔福格说。这家自行车和踏板车共享公司最近刚刚收购了竞争对手Jump。

不过,增加自行车的供应量只是一个方面,研究表明,大众骑车出行的意愿与安全感密切相关。人们普遍认为,将自行车道与机动车道分离是确保骑行安全的最佳方式。

为了响应骑车出行的新需求,纽约将部分街道设为机动车禁行路段,并新增了近15公里的自行车道。这其中不少可从市郊通往曼哈顿,为通勤提供了便利。虽然目前是临时性的,但Citi Bike的福克斯认为,该项举措有可能长期保持下去。伦敦也划出了若干个无车区,旨在方便人们骑车、步行,同时还在主要街道辟出了临时自行车道。

变化最大的或许要数巴黎,一举新增了数百英里的自行车道。巴黎市长还进而宣布,将永久禁止小汽车进入市中心。该项变革原计划于2024年开始实施,目前已在酝酿之中。米兰和马德里也在加紧为骑行者提供更多便利。

然而,眼下还有一项挑战。有证据表明,使用共享单车的人,更多来自较富裕阶层。例如,Citi Bike的服务在纽约东部和布朗克斯等贫困人群居多的地区明显不足。费城“更佳共享单车合作”的项目经理瓦夫耶•默里指出,这与当前的需求正好相反。

默里表示,“疫情期间,人们对共享单车的需求量增大,尤其是那些无法居家工作的人。”一些共享单车平台为医务工作者提供了免费或延伸服务,此外,其他从事必要工作的劳动者也提高了骑车通勤的比例。

Citi Bike已加大了对纽约市单车服务不足地区的投入。Lime公司也在积极宣传自家的“无桩”自行车,这种车无需固定的停放地点,更适合在预算紧张的城市推广。

“[城市]不可能把数百万美元花在停车桩等基础设施上,相比之下,不如在街道上用油漆标记出无桩自行车的推荐停放区域,”Lime的斯皮尔福格说。

尽管这些举措和基础设施调整才刚刚启动,但或有望对城市的未来产生深远影响。因新冠疫情封城期间,车流量减少,很多城市居民时隔数年首次见到了蓝天,这让人们认识到增加骑车出行比例可能带来的长期环境利益。此外,骑自行车也可促进心血管健康。

“我们已经共同挺过了这场危机。从可持续性与城市发展的角度考虑,我们建议投放更多自行车,”Citi Bike的福克斯说。

“我觉得,提倡新型交通方式,眼下正当时。”(财富中文网)

译者:胡萌琦

2020年4月12日,新冠病毒大流行期间苏豪区的骑车人。图:Noam Galai-Getty

就在6月8日纽约市解封之前几天,美国疾控中心给出的一项新指南令重启过程再添变数。该指南建议人们开车上下班,不要搭乘公共交通工具,以减少病毒的传播。

纽约市的官员们迅速作出回应,称疾控中心的建议并不适合本市,且有可能导致交通恶化。不过,倒是有一种替代方案:骑自行车。这样不仅可以减少汽车拥堵,也可以避开容易感染病毒的密闭空间。

与之相应,人们似乎也在调整通勤方式。数据显示,自行车和共享单车短期租赁服务的使用量在一定程度上有所增加。

需求的增长(以及因疫情造成的生产中断)已导致纽约和北达科他等地区的自行车供应出现短缺。根据调研公司ITDP的数据,自城市解禁以来,北京的共享单车使用量增长了150%。与此同时,总部位于欧洲的共享单车运营商Nextbike表示,今年4月和5月的用户数量同比增长了35%。伦敦交通部门估计,骑自行车的人数增加了10倍。费城的共享单车服务商Indego也称自行车的使用量有所上升,但没有透露具体数字。

纽约市的情况相对复杂,但同样显露出了未来可能增长的迹象。3月初,当人们意识到新冠病毒已迅速传播,但尚未封城时,该市的Citi Bike共享单车系统使用量增长了67%。Citi Bike的总经理劳拉•福克斯称,受居家令影响,4月的单车使用量同比下降60%。到了5月,虽然仍未解封,但使用量同比仅下降20%。福克斯认为,随着城市重启,共享单车的使用量将显著上升。

参考2005年纽约市交通工人大罢工和2012年飓风桑迪之后的情况,她还预计,人们通勤习惯的改变将是长久的。上述两起事件均严重影响了地铁系统,并使该市的自行车使用量增长了20%。(当然,这两次持续性增长是从总体而言,与2013年成立的Citi Bike自身并无关系。)

美国自行车联盟的政策主管肯•麦克劳德表示,新冠疫情造成的经济下滑有可能进一步推动自行车市场的繁荣。根据美国汽车协会的数据,在美国拥有汽车的成本平均接近9300美元。公共交通的年消费浮动较大,总体而言接近1000美元。各共享单车系统的使用价格也不尽相同,但Citi Bike的年费仅为169美元。如果失业率居高不下,上述成本的差异将成为影响出行方式的重要因素。

即便是共享单车发展较为缓慢的城市,也在采取行动,为可能到来的变化做准备。“人们对推出新系统突然有了强烈的兴趣,”Lime的首席政策官戴维•斯皮尔福格说。这家自行车和踏板车共享公司最近刚刚收购了竞争对手Jump。

不过,增加自行车的供应量只是一个方面,研究表明,大众骑车出行的意愿与安全感密切相关。人们普遍认为,将自行车道与机动车道分离是确保骑行安全的最佳方式。

为了响应骑车出行的新需求,纽约将部分街道设为机动车禁行路段,并新增了近15公里的自行车道。这其中不少可从市郊通往曼哈顿,为通勤提供了便利。虽然目前是临时性的,但Citi Bike的福克斯认为,该项举措有可能长期保持下去。伦敦也划出了若干个无车区,旨在方便人们骑车、步行,同时还在主要街道辟出了临时自行车道。

变化最大的或许要数巴黎,一举新增了数百英里的自行车道。巴黎市长还进而宣布,将永久禁止小汽车进入市中心。该项变革原计划于2024年开始实施,目前已在酝酿之中。米兰和马德里也在加紧为骑行者提供更多便利。

然而,眼下还有一项挑战。有证据表明,使用共享单车的人,更多来自较富裕阶层。例如,Citi Bike的服务在纽约东部和布朗克斯等贫困人群居多的地区明显不足。费城“更佳共享单车合作”的项目经理瓦夫耶•默里指出,这与当前的需求正好相反。

默里表示,“疫情期间,人们对共享单车的需求量增大,尤其是那些无法居家工作的人。”一些共享单车平台为医务工作者提供了免费或延伸服务,此外,其他从事必要工作的劳动者也提高了骑车通勤的比例。

Citi Bike已加大了对纽约市单车服务不足地区的投入。Lime公司也在积极宣传自家的“无桩”自行车,这种车无需固定的停放地点,更适合在预算紧张的城市推广。

“[城市]不可能把数百万美元花在停车桩等基础设施上,相比之下,不如在街道上用油漆标记出无桩自行车的推荐停放区域,”Lime的斯皮尔福格说。

尽管这些举措和基础设施调整才刚刚启动,但或有望对城市的未来产生深远影响。因新冠疫情封城期间,车流量减少,很多城市居民时隔数年首次见到了蓝天,这让人们认识到增加骑车出行比例可能带来的长期环境利益。此外,骑自行车也可促进心血管健康。

“我们已经共同挺过了这场危机。从可持续性与城市发展的角度考虑,我们建议投放更多自行车,”Citi Bike的福克斯说。

“我觉得,提倡新型交通方式,眼下正当时。”(财富中文网)

译者:胡萌琦

Cyclists in SoHo during the coronavirus pandemic on April 12, 2020.Noam Galai—Getty Images

Just days before New York City began lifting coronavirus-related restrictions on June 8, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control threw a wrench in the proceedings. In new guidelines, it recommended that workers commute by car rather than public transit to reduce transmission of the coronavirus.

New York officials quickly pointed out that the recommendation was unfeasible for the city and worried that the CDC guidelines might lead to more car traffic. But there is an alternative to “carmageddon”: bicycles, which let people avoid enclosed spaces, where the risk of catching the coronavirus is greater.

Workers, it appears, are adjusting their commutes accordingly. Although limited, data points to an increase in cycling and the use of bike-share services, whereby people rent bikes for short periods.

Rising demand for bicycles (and disruptions in manufacturing caused by the coronavirus) have led to bicycle shortages from New York to North Dakota. In Beijing, there has been a 150% increase in bike-share use since lockdowns there began easing, according to research firm ITDP. Meanwhile, Europe-centered bike-share operator Nextbike reported a 35% year-over-year spike in ridership in April and May. In London, the transit authority has projected a 10-fold increase in cycling. Philadelphia’s Indego bike-share service says it has seen a rise in ridership as well, although it didn’t share specific numbers.

New York City data is more complex, but it shows hints of future growth. In early March, before lockdowns went into effect, but as awareness of the coronavirus was rising rapidly, the city’s Citi Bike bike-share system saw ride volume grow 67%. In April, according to Citi Bike general manager Laura Fox, lockdowns reduced the number of rides by 60% compared with the same month in 2019. But by May, with lockdowns still in place, use was only off 20% from 2019. Fox believes that points to significant growth as the city reopens.

She also suspects that changes in commuting habits will be permanent, pointing to what happened after a 2005 New York City transit-worker strike and Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Both events severely disrupted the subway system, and increased bicycle ridership in the city by about 20%. Those increases were sustained (though those gains were for bicycling in general, not for use of Citi Bike, which was founded in 2013).

A cycling boom could be further fueled by the economic fallout from the coronavirus, according to Ken McLeod, policy director of the League of American Bicyclists. The average cost of car ownership in the U.S. is nearly $9,300, according to the AAA. Annual public transit costs range widely but are generally closer to $1,000. Pricing for bike-share systems also varies, but an annual pass for Citi Bike is just $169. If unemployment remains high, those cost differences could be widely appealing.

Even cities that have been slow to adopt bike-share services are moving to accommodate the anticipated shifts. “There’s suddenly a strong openness to figuring out how to launch a new system,” says David Spielfogel, chief policy officer for Lime, a bike and scooter-sharing company that recently acquired rival operation Jump.

Adding more bikes is only part of the battle, though, because studies have shown that people’s willingness to bike is closely linked to how safe they feel. Bike lanes, especially when physically separated from auto traffic, are widely considered the best way to keep cyclists safe.

New York has responded to its new bike-centric reality by closing some streets to car traffic and adding nine miles of new bike lanes, many leading from outlying boroughs into Manhattan to serve commuters. They are temporary, but Citi Bike’s Fox says they could become permanent. London has created several car-free zones meant to be friendlier for biking and walking and is also creating temporary cycling lanes along major corridors.

Paris may be making the most dramatic changes, with hundreds of miles of new bike lanes. That city’s mayor has further declared that cars will be permanently discouraged from entering the city center, a change already in the works but previously with a 2024 target date. Milan and Madrid are also accelerating efforts to be friendlier to bikes.

There is an additional challenge, however: Evidence has shown bike-share programs are more widely used by more well-off people. Citi Bike services, for instance, are scant in some poorer parts of the city, such as East New York and the Bronx. That’s the opposite of what the moment demands, according to Waffiyyah Murray, program manager of the Philadelphia-based Better Bike Share Partnership.

“During the pandemic, there has been a greater need for bike-share,” says Murray, “Especially [from] those who don’t have the option to work from home.” Several bike-share systems have provided free or expanded service for health care workers, for example, and Better Bike Share has found that other essential workers are increasing their bicycle commuting as well.

Citi Bike is already expanding in underserved areas of New York City. Lime, meanwhile, touts its “dockless” bicycles, which can be parked anywhere, as a more affordable way to expand access as cities face budget crunches.

“[Cities] can’t be investing millions into docked infrastructure,” says Lime’s Spielfogel. “It’s much easier to put some paint on a street and call it a preferred parking spot for dockless bikes.”

Though nascent, this raft of behavioral and infrastructure changes could have major implications for the future of cities. The decline of car traffic during coronavirus lockdowns has already given many city residents their first glimpse of clear skies in years, a preview of the possible long-term environmental benefits of increased cycling. And of course, cycling is beneficial to cardiovascular health.

“We’ve gone through this crisis together,” says Fox of Citi Bike. “More cycling is something in this moment that could be a bright spot, in terms of how we think about sustainability and our cities going forward.

“It just feels like now is a time when alternative modes of transportation have a moment.”

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