Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Boulder Preparing to Rock Bike-sharing

Following the lead of its big sister (Denver, Colorado), Boulder is preparing to launch Boulder B-Cycle on May 20. The service will have 200 bikes and 25 stations and is being paid for through a $250,000 federal grant from the City of Boulder and a grassroots fund-raising campaign with a goal of reaching $1.25M.

Just today Google stepped forward with a $25,000 donation from the Google Community Grants Fund at the Tides Foundation, which makes donations to non-profits. The service will be a non-profit similar to Denver B-Cycle and Nice Ride Minnesota.

The cost of a day membership will be $5 and an annual membership for $50. Also, memberships will be compatible with Denver B-Cycle, which will be about 30 miles away and outside of your 30-minute free window unless you're a really fast cyclist.

image credit: Boulder B-Cycle


Unknown said...

the eco-transport system of La Rochelle, France is a great model for bike-sharing and electric car-sharing as well. http://ecomobility.tv/2011/01/20/avant-green-transportation/

Stele Ely said...

I went to Boulder's PLAN meeting on the B-cycle project. Sound great.

While listening, I thought up a new way to enable bike share security while allowing bicycles to be locked in more locations.

Here it is:

Bike Sharing Lock System :: Automatic Combination Reset

Imagine an electronic bike share bicycle lock that was able to reset its combination after every locking. To unlock and use a bicycle that is locked up with one of these locks, a prospective bike rider would use their cell phone to call a bike share organization's office, or use a phone app, to get the combination and to pay for bicycle rental.

There would be a digital readout numerical *key* on the lock that a prospective rider could use to get the new combination of the bike share lock. [If a non-electronic version could be designed, it could be an analog numerical key.]

Here's how a prospective bike rider would rent and unlock a share bike that is locked to a bike rack with this kind of lock.

A rider would call a bike share office, or use a phone app, to get the combination and to pay for rental. Caller ID would be used to verify that the rider was signed up to rent the ride share bicycles.

While on the phone with the bike share organization's office, or via app, the bike rider would first state or enter their own secret password. Then the rider would state or enter the bike lock's unique id number using the phone's keypad. Next, the rider would state or enter the digital readout *key* found on the bike lock. The bike share organization, or the app, would then give the rider the combination to unlock the bike.

The rider would then be able unlock the bike and ride it.

When the rider arrives at the new location, the rider would relock the share bike for the next bike rider to rent. The lock would reset its combination when relocked.

Once the rider has relocked the bicycle, the rider would then call the share bike office to state the location of the locked bike. This would be done so prospective bike riders can ask the offices where the nearest share bike might be located, or use a phone app to map the bikes locations.
Share bicycles could be locked at numerous pre-approved locations with this kind of bike share bicycle lock.

For all the life, Stele Ely