Friday, July 5, 2013

Profiling and Practicality

  The preferred Mode of Transportation in Jamaica
In Jamaica the concept of Profiling and living a Practical life represents opposite ends of the spectrum as profiling wins every time. Yes I know,  it is a retarded way of defining one’s self and living one's life but most Jamaicans do define themselves by how much they can profile. It is the only way they know how to stand apart, show that they have arrived and to prove to the world that we can live just as first world as anyone else. We "Likkle but Tallawah" … Not that the world really cares, because no matter how we borrow their money to import their rubbish, they will always regard us as Impoverished and Third World. Our over the top importation of Hennessy, Blackberry now Samsung, Range Rover and now ATL will have its very own Apple Store fitted with Apple Genius Bar seems to give us a sense of achievement. All this while the exchange rate hovers over 101.00 to 1 US dollar, our source of loans continue to dry up, as the hurdles get higher and higher.... "Jump ova dis and a give yu a smalls..." and the non-existent economic growth , so we are fooling no one but ourselves.

New York City
I have been reading a lot about the Citibike program in New York City since it was implemented. It seems the program have gotten off to a wonderful start, as most people sing praises to its success, even though the Mayor did not implement a mandatory helmet law, which for a very Health and Safety Crazy Mayor like Bloomberg, is a shocking and crazy. I read that the bikes are being used by both men, women, young or old, people in all demographics to shoot uptown, downtown and across town and that Corporate New Yorkers have embraced the program, from executives to various levels of management and ordinary workers are taking these bikes for both business and pleasure. It was reported that Citi Bike riders traveled one million miles, in less than one month since the program began and reports of mad rush from major train terminals like Grand Central to the various Citibike stations as some people are no longer wasting their money on NY taxis and subway to get from Point A to Point B. These bikes are cheaper and represent people power at its very best. A member of the Black community pointed out that they no longer waste their time to trying to catch a cab since NY taxis drivers who are predominantly minorities, are notorious for driving past black people as if they do not exist. Now when they need to get across town in a hurry they have a second option apart from the subway.

Riders are already making use of the CitiBike Apps, which lets people know where to find a bike or how long it will take to get to another station. In addition to the official App, there's been no shortage of ways mappers have been visualizing this new transportation network. 5 Cool Ways To Visualize And Track The Citi Bike Experience .One Riders Experience: "To get started on Citi Bike, I walked five blocks to the nearest docking station in Brooklyn Heights, fed my debit card to the kiosk, skipped past the fine print and selected a $10, 24-hour access pass."...

On June 14th it was reported that Citi Bike is on pace to surpass 40,000 annual member.
I know for a fact that programs like these would never work in Jamaica, we are just not wired that way. Jamaicans would prefer to jump in their Big Head Air-Conditioned SUV, blasting the latest Jay-Z jam, to drive 10 minutes, 5 of which is spent stuck in traffic, to get to Sovereign supermarket to pick up a single loaf of bread, then cry and scream about the price of petrol. It is all about the profiling for most Jamaicans, the look at me syndrome in full effect. While it seems people in more developed countries have embraced the practicality of Bike rental programs. Several states in the United States have implemented this program with success and several countries worldwide. Even students going out for drinks say it is much better and cheaper to get across town when they need to meet up with friends than to take a taxi, leave a bit early, grab a bike and drop it off when you get to your destination… Imagine if more people leave their cars at Home and cycle from the suburbs of Kingston to work. It would be very easy to cycle from Jacks Hill to New Kingston but cycling back up Jacks Hill would not be fun although I have seen loads of professional riders practicing going up that hill.

Citi Bike ridership didn’t cool down during winter months

Citi Bike membership (in blue), trips (in yellow), and miles traveled (in red)
UK Bike Rental Program
The Mayor of London
London, England
In the UK, the Mayor of London outlined a £913m plan for a 15-mile cycle route from the western suburbs to Canary Wharf In Docklands and Barking in east London. In London this venture is called “Boris's Bikes” and is sponsored by Barclay's Bank… “Barclay's Cycle Hire Program”.

In 2012 it was reported that more than 160,000 people have signed up as members of Barclay's Cycle Hire and they have made over 13 million hires. Around 3.6 million trips have been made by casual users since the service became available more widely in December 2010. In January 2013, Transport for London announced that 24-hour access to the Barclay's Cycle Hire scheme doubled from £1 to £2, the cost of weekly access increased from £5 to £10, and yearly membership rocketed from £45 to £90 but tourist and locals alike continue to use this mode of transportation.

Paris, France
Paris also have a Bike Rental Program called the Vélib’ ("bike in freedom") which is a self-service bike system available 24 hours a day, all year round. To access the service, buy a 1-day or a 7-day ticket online or at any Vélib’ station or sign-up for a long-term subscription!

I have always admired the European and their practical approach to life, how they embrace local organic foods, healthy living lifestyles and there use of small fuel efficient cars and smart car technology.

Amsterdam might have more bikes than people
Amsterdam Mother and Kids

Amsterdam Bike parking Lot
Off course long before all this Bike rental became popular there was Cycling in the Netherlands where it had long been the preferred mode of transport. I can still remember my first time in Amsterdam, watching everyone riding about their business getting from point A to point B with ease and I remember the Perfectly Toned legs of the ladies as a result of all that cycling. In Amsterdam I have seen bikes in every shape, sizes and configurations carrying everything and everyone.

Heading to the office

New York Hotties
Amsterdam Family

Amsterdam Hottie
London Hotties
Over the Bridge and on to Wall Street
Paris Cycle Hire Bikes
Leo Dicaprio heading cross town on a Citibike


  1. great, insightful post...i will follow u

  2. Nah you reaching with this one. 99% of America is still unlivable (for the professional class who are working strict hours anyway) without a car, New York city and DC metro are THE ONLY exceptions. If you expect to be a cycler when you have a long commute already to where work is, add in any inclement weather when you need to arrive looking professional and unsweaty and unruffled, and add in any detours to drop kids off or pick them up...nobody outside already heavily metro-fied areas can live off that. What happens when it rains? As it did nearly every day this entire summer for Atlanta?

    New York is extreme in everything representing the U.S. Most of the U.S. does not function like New York City. And most of it isn't chook up one thing on top of another in all close cramped quarters like NYC...Atlanta for one is a SPRAWWWWL and most of where people live requires highway to get to work and to play...and since we have car notes, we want to make use of the darn thing. Only people who don't even own cars already can see that as a fullscale alternative.

  3. A hear Yu El Inc, but what of Jamaica? The reality of America and that of Jamaica are very different yet we implement American solutions that we cannot afford.