I was taking the bus home this evening, and reading a copy of Men's Health (because Obama was on the cover & we thought it'd be a neat souvenir. I'm not a health nut, I swear). I realized that I don't exercise enough, mostly because it's not part of my schedule. And I spend a lot of time on the bus, when I could be exercising. Since we've got a lot of hybrid buses in Seattle, is there any way to help charge them with human power? It probably wouldn't help much, but I certainly would like the excuse to exercise more.
When I got home, I remembered that when I was 6 or 7 I already had the idea of a human powered car with bike pedals (maybe my inspiration was from the Flintstones).
Turns out others have made my childhood musings a reality. It doesn't go that fast, but it does work. Check out the Busycle. The video is a bit overly long, and reminds me why I find some more earthy types a bit annoying, but their heart is in the right place.
Other human powered buses:
More modern and less hippy, a bus in Brazil. (also in Portuguese?. Check out "Imagens" for pictures):Corpus Super Bike
Just beware of the Flash based lens flare. Double Foul!
I think the two most obvious questions about making something like this a reality is this:
1: How much more space would be taken up (how many less passengers could you fit on a bus like this).
2: Could it be built so they could hose off the areas when done, lest the stench of many make it unbearable?