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A bike rack / free ride scam?

By johnboy - 18 November 2008 35

In the recent discussion about bike racks on buses Miz outlined an interesting scam surrounding the current system of free bus rides for people using the bike racks on the front of ACTION buses.

    I’ve heard of people getting a free ride by walking their dusty, spiderwebby (ie obviously unused and probably unride-able) bike to the bus stop and using it to get a free bus ride. This from a bus driver. And why wouldn’t you?

    All in all, it seems fairly pointless to give bikers a free ride.

Flying Doormat then explained the economics of making this effort:

    Some people are just tightarses – thats why they would get their shitty bikes and walk down to save a few dollars. Oh but if such a tightarse was to take the bus to work for say 200 work days a year at $6.00 a day(return trip) that would equate to $1200 to spend on something else. This is why they should have to pay the same as anyone else who uses the bus service.

Any thoughts on how this could be policed?

UPDATED: Caf makes a compelling argument that the maximum saving should be calculated in monthly bus passes and would be $984.

What’s Your opinion?

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35 Responses to
A bike rack / free ride scam?
Kramer 11:53 am 18 Nov 08

I have heard of a few people hauling around an old wreck, just for the free bus ride. Some of them occaisionally ride their wreck, but most just push them around. The problem is legitimate cyclists who want to use the rack, but it is full of these junkers. The solution – make bus travel free for everyone!

taco 11:42 am 18 Nov 08

I have never actually seen this happen, but my partner told me a story of some druggo woman with a shitty bike who couldn’t use the rack because it was already full, so she yelled and complained and threw the bike away.
A second guy said – are you just going to leave that there? and with an affirmative reply he took the bike and rode away

So I don’t see this potential abuse as a real problem.
The system is self limiting and gets more inconvenient as more people use the racks

That said, I don’t really see the need for a free ride – I buy a $22 10 ride ticket which lasts me a month or two of infrequent bus travel – using a $2.20 ride for my even more infrequent bike rack use wouldn’t concern me (I wouldn’t even mind paying a small premium for the service)

miz 11:41 am 18 Nov 08

I think it’s enterprising that some have figured out how to work the system – but I think the system is dumb because this can happen.

Lenient 11:35 am 18 Nov 08

Surely there can’t be that many doing this? Agree with the helmet condition, though.. otherwise the bus driver is aiding and abetting Grand-Ride-Topless (the worst crime of all).

robbi64 10:56 am 18 Nov 08

Sammy said :

You have to at least be wearing bike pants, as well as being in possession of a bike.

and you have to have a real tight a**e too

p1 10:16 am 18 Nov 08

If you want to raise the bar slightly, as well as encourage safe riding, require a helmet as well as a bike.

I think this is actually a good idea, especially considering that it is still a requirement to wear a bike helmet in the ACT (when riding a bike…)

Thumper 9:59 am 18 Nov 08

Would anyone seriously cart around an old treadlie just so they could get a free bus ride?

Somehow I doubt it…

And if someone does, who cares?

caf 9:32 am 18 Nov 08

JJ: I’d lay good odds that most of the naysayers don’t even use the bus at all, paying or otherwise.

Jim Jones 9:24 am 18 Nov 08

I never understand why people get so infuriated at the merest suggestion that someone might be ‘getting away’ with something that has almost no impact whatsoever: some tightass gets a free bus ride and has to lug about a piece of sh1t bicycle to do it. So what?

That attempt to use this in an attempt to deny legitimate cyclists what they’re getting at the moment is incredibly mean-spirited, bitter jealousy: “Someone is getting something for free, and it isn’t me. This must be stopped!”

I don’t use the free bus service, but I fail to see why so many people resent the others who do.

Skidbladnir 9:21 am 18 Nov 08

They have to deal with carrying a lump of unused bike with them for the rest of the day, and repeat the process going home.

For those who scream about ‘he’s making a $1200 saving when I’m not’ argument, you’re not even paying cost price for an ACTION bus ride, and you can join in the same ‘scam’ yourself if you really want to.

I don’t see a problem with it, other than they’re occupying a bikerack spot that could have otherwise been used.
It still gets a car off the road instead of driving door to door, and they’re walking at least part of the way so Katy can claim her ‘fitness dividend’.

Sammy 9:21 am 18 Nov 08

You have to at least be wearing bike pants, as well as being in possession of a bike.

caf 9:16 am 18 Nov 08

Adult Monthly fare is $82, so the biggest saving they can get in a whole year is actually $984.

Really, if a few people want to walk beside their bike instead of sitting on it, good luck to ’em – can’t see the problem myself. If you want to raise the bar slightly, as well as encourage safe riding, require a helmet as well as a bike.

justbands 9:09 am 18 Nov 08

There’s an issue here? Seriously, how many would bother to go to such lengths to save a few dollars (even if it would add up over time)? For the (what I’m certain would be) very few that would bother, good luck to them.

emd 9:02 am 18 Nov 08

Seriously, there cannot be that many tight-arses willing to go to this much effort for a free bus ride that we actually need to bother with trying to stop them.

toriness 9:00 am 18 Nov 08

i didn’t even realise you could use the buses for free if you had your bike! awesome – now i won’t have to ride home in the rain anymore!

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