The bicycle is rapidly becoming the popular mode of transportation in large urban cores. It is cheap, you can find a decent used bike for 25 bucks that will get you around the city fairly well. Bikes are easy to maintain and aren't subject to expensive repairs as they age. No need to buy insurance either, or fill up on gas. These qualities make it a very attractive option for those who are strapped for cash. Also, it is environmentally friendly due to the lack of emissions and lower embodied energy than the automobile. So, this is an important turning point as people begin to look away from a more expensive, more convenient mode of transportation, to one that is significantly more affordable. In fact, New York city saw a 35% increase in people biking to work in 2008. Unlike public transportation though, biking has become a trend with thriving organizations such as Critical Mass advocating for increased ridership. It has become cool to ride a bike as demonstrated by the many celebs recently caught on 2 wheels. Lance Armstrong may have sparked a national movement toward road bikes, but the many bike messengers roaming our urban cores have sparked a fixed gear revolution. Once seen as tacky or radical, the bike messenger style has invaded western culture influencing clothing, style (messenger bag anyone??), and heck, transportation!
So why does this mean it's becoming posh to be poor? Well, because it's a move away from expensive transportation options, toward more affordable and accessible option. It's a move away from $30,000 SUV's toward $125 bikes (these are both averages of course.) Low income residence take public transit, they ride bikes, and they hop trains; 3 methods of transportation that will see a steep increase in 2009. As we enter into an age of frugality, where we find pleasure in the simple aspects of life, people will worry less about luxury and more about experience, an idea which has grown in prominence over the past few years.
Posh to be Poor? Introduction
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