New York City’s bikeshare system, while popular, is inching towards bankruptcy and bleeding more money every day. So what the hell is going on? One problem is that it’s popular with local users who get the yearlong passes with a much lower profit margin than the single-use passes intended to fund the system. The idea of visiting New York City and hopping on one of these bikes on a whim does seem like a bit of a stretch.
With, “How to Make a Bikeshare Fair and Functional” Jordan Fraade at the Baffler looks at the bigger picture:
[Urban planners] have tried various strategies for discouraging car use in cities around the world, including expanding railways and building bike lanes. One of the most common strategies is hiking up the cost of on- and off-street parking—an intuitive approach. Its effectiveness has been difficult to verify, though, because so many different factors contribute to car volume in any given city.
Maureen O’Connor tackles “The Colleague Zone” for NY Mag’s The Cut. You know, that thing where someone suggests you meet for drinks after work and you don’t quite know why and halfway through you aren’t sure whether it’s a date or a business meeting or something in between. OR SO I HEAR.
Melissa Chandler’s essay for the Bold Italic, “My Dad’s a Cabbie But Sometimes I Use Lyft” is both lovely and has lots of great cabbie stories (win-win).
Gary Leff writes for an addiction and recovery site called the Fix about his obsession with earning free airline miles.
Just in time for Valentine’s Day, the Guardian interviewed a dozen or so young people about the financial strain of dating, and how personal finances affect their relationships. Yes, please:
Winter biking in Minneapolis isn’t for the timid. It’s cold, the roads are both slippery and narrower than usual, and cars aren’t exactly friendly. But Minnesotans are nothing if not hardy, and proud of it. I’ve been biking to work this winter, and here’s what it has cost me:
Winter Tires: $65 each, $130 total. I decided to go with the Continental Winter II tires, because they’re nearly as grippy as studs, fit on the wheels I have, and they were in stock and relatively cheap.
Various bike service odds and ends: $59. I got the winter tires after riding in to work on my normal tires—on 4 inches of snow. When I took my bike in during lunch they also adjusted my brakes, fixed my fender, and replaced an inner tube.
Joyce Wadler, my new hero, shares via the NYT the kind of calculus she does when deciding whether to pop a $35 pill that will help her get to knockin’ boots:
The older woman’s cost of love: $880 a year. I am not the sort of person who would ever put a dollar value on intimacy, but $880 is a winter coat. Two nights in a Paris hotel. Dinner for two at the most expensive restaurant in New York, although that gave my companion such heartburn he couldn’t lie down until three in the morning and would have negated any love drug benefits, were we able to afford both and had that sort of relationship.
Happily, I am not one of those women who has to decide between cat food and hormones.
Also, after crunching the numbers, I realized things were not as bad as I had thought. Dividing the annual cost of product ($880) by estimated number of encounters (conservatively, twice a week or 104), I saw it would be only $8.46 per event. And if the guy surprises you with a trip to the Caribbean in February you could probably get it down to $7.
All I can think is 1. that’s a really nice coat, and 2. that we should all be so lucky to have sex (“conservatively”!!) twice a week when we are over 60 / me right now. Oh and 3. I want to be Joyce Wadler’s best friend.
Photo: See-ming Lee