April 1st is my son’s birthday. Unfortunately, making funny jokes is not in his skill set yet, in spite of his best efforts. He got that unfunny gene from his mom. So this post is not another April Fool’s day hoax but one about the fooleries invented by the alternative transport industry. The most popular ones are those in the grey zone; the ones that don’t seem so foolish. Shareable tandem bicycles and electric scooters – why not? As fads and fashions change rapidly so too might preferred modes of transit.There were many AFDJ (April Fool’s Day Jokes) by bike sharing organizations so I restrained myself to mention only those from cities that I have personal ties to.
London: Santander Cycles received hundreds of likes and retweets for its announcement of Santandems (#Santandems): a tandem bike for two.
Many commentators thought this concept should live beyond April’s Fool day. Responses from Santander Cycles were a bit uninspiring however.
Boston: Hubway announced it would be offering shareable electric scooters. A concept that doesn’t seem foolish to me as an electric scooter rider. I know there are people out there who can’t sit on a bicycle and would rather avoid getting sweaty on their way to work.
NYC: Citibike (@CitiBikeNYC) was not joking around and getting ready for #carfreenyc on Earth Day (April 22).
Pittsburgh: PGH bike share(@healthridepgh) announced Pittsburgh Cat Share, starting this summer. This one’s pretty squarely an AFDJ.
Paris’ Vélib’, introduced shareable pedal boats in partnership with Ville de Ris-Orange. Cute.
Outside of the Bike Share space, Google Netherlands came up with a very funny video announcing the Self-Driving Bicycle.
And, bike retailer PUBLIC Bikes celebrated with a brand new product: the unicycle. A pre-order button brought you to Wikipedia’s AFD page. Not such an off the wall idea considering the relative popularity of the self-balancing wheel.