Expect to see more of these signs as electric bikes will probably be the future of city travel.
There’s no two ways about it – travel is changing. Between rising oil prices and increased congestion, many people are looking for alternative ways to get to work, saving themselves both time and money.
But although the vision of energy efficient cities which are clean, green and free from congestion may be an appealing one, the process is going to take some time. Concepts for sustainable transport systems are there by the bucket load, but the finance and tangible solutions are in somewhat shorter supply.
As the pressure on city administrators to find new and alternative transport options increases, there have been some pretty innovative concepts bandied about including flying bikes, electrified pod cars or even elevated buses that ride above the usual roadway system to effectively create a two tiered transport route. The reality, however, is that while these ideas of the future may have a great deal of outlandish appeal, the cost of rebuilding an entire infrastructure to relieve congestion means it is not really viable.
Some transportation concepts wouldn’t be out of place in the latest sci-fi blockbuster, but at the moment the key to effective commuter travel is simplicity. Increasing numbers of city planners are investing in improving existing cycle ways to make this ultra green and efficient mode of transportation much more safe and effective for all. As The Times reveals, in light of the continuing budget cuts that are facing most local authorities, cycling is the way forward for many of today’s commuters.
Cycling is undoubtedly one of the best ways to get around the city assuming that it is safe for cyclists. Many major cities around the world now have some kind of bike sharing scheme where commuters can pick up a bike from their train station and cycle to their place of work. At the end of the day, commuters just leave the borrowed bike at the most convenient drop off point and jump on the train to get back home. It really couldn’t be much simpler.
If the idea of relying on the city’s public bikes is a little too much for you, then there are certainly alternatives that are well worth looking into. There are a large number of innovatively designed folding bikes available on the market today. Some of these are small enough to fit into your backpack and make the transition from train to office relatively stress free.
For those who live more centrally or who find the idea of pedalling all the way to work a little too much, there is no doubt that electric bikes will probably be the future of city travel. Although this trend has been slower to take off in Europe and the US, there are currently over 120 million electric bikes being used in China as a cheaper and greener alternative to get to work.
Whatever the future holds, it’s almost certain that within cities, pedal power is going to play a big part in it. Greener, cheaper solutions to the daily commute are an essential for the millions who work in the city.
Author of this article is Anderson Lele.