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Urban Transportation

November 12th, 2009
transport, mbta, bikes  [html]

For a little over a year I've been using a bike for most of my transportation. I like it, but it can ba a hassle. Specifically, I can't combine it with buses (wheelbase is too long) or the subway (prohibited at rush hour) and it's hard to store. When living in medford, it was the best of not that many options. But in cambridge there is frequent bus service.

The first two weeks I either took the bus (+walking) or biked. For work and back, bus works well. For chinese class at tufts, though, the leg from tufts to work has poor mbta support. Walking this takes a really long time. Biking it means I need to bike the other two legs as well.

Today I tried using a small "razor"-style folding kick scooter that I'd found in the trash last year. It worked pretty well. Combines well with bus riding. I don't really like riding it, as it feels far more awkward than a bike or walking, but it has a good value for speed_increase / (weight * size).

One thing that seems like it would be more natural to ride is a skateboard. I would need to learn how to control one properly (harder than a scooter, and for effective transportation it needs to not get away from you) but I think it would work better. The downside is that skateboards have cultural associations that scooters don't. (Scooters are dorky, but I'm ok with that.) It's hard to read about skateboards, though, as pretty much everything I've been finding online is based on using them for tricks, not transport. The lack of brakes is also not ideal.

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