Saturday, July 6, 2013

Paradigm Paralysis

If A 14-Year-Old In Africa Can Build These With Scraps, Imagine What We Could Do In America?
Necessity may be the mother of invention, but not everybody has a belief in himself to overcome his problems. When a task is challenging or even slightly unfamiliar we look for the escape route.

For a family of three, our groceries cost (60-70% organic) around 300$ a month. Our gas cost - 200$, that's only for driving to a park and ride three miles away from home. Our daily commute costs another 400$ a month for the metro train. Another 200$ per month for auto insurance premium. When they say the middle class is getting squeezed, it is not because we can not afford food, it is because we pay three times more on transportation than on food.
There is a crying need for innovation in transportation.

Commuting to work alone in a four wheeler is backwards, feeding that huge car which overtakes our lives is backwards. Feeding the monster at the signals, when the delays are a direct consequence of  the monster's size is backwards. Sprawl due to wasted parking spaces for these monsters is backwards. Hailing electric cars as progressive is backwards. No matter what MPG breakthroughs we may get, getting stuck in traffic while commuting to work is never going to help anybody.

The solution:

We should be riding a motor bike to work or errands. A motor bike in winter months or in the rain is unimaginable, but now there is an answer for that. Lit motor's C1 is a fully enclosed bike with temperature control, which means you can stay warm in winter and
dry in the rain or cool in summer. I am not a stealth marketer for that company, I am a daily victim of my commuting horrors. Once there are enough of these two wheelers on the roads, it encourages other two wheeler manufacturers and people benefit.

TL;DR Two wheelers are too important to fail. Cars should not be synonymous with travel. We should not be paralyzed with the paradigm of car as a primary mode of transportation.


Cars are important too, for a road trips with family or friends, for carrying groceries and shopping goods. But with companies like Zipcar and other pay by the hour car rentals or car sharing apps, it is getting easier to live without owning a car.

I am not arguing against mass transportation by buses or trains. Rather, these bikes should fill in the gaps of mass transportation due to unserved areas, infrequent schedules etc.

The park and ride near my home has 2000 parking spots, but if one reaches there after 8:45 am to park her car and take the metro, she is out of luck, all those spots get filled by that time. While I am happy that 2000 people take the metro, parking spots place an upper limit to metro's usability. If people rode in on their bikes, there is no doubt that 4000 people could use the facility.

Daily parking at the Metro station costs about 5$ a day, the cost could be down to 2.50$ for a motor bike since compact bikes virtually double the parking capacity.

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