Saturday, April 30, 2011
The City of Vancouver, Canada has a Request for Expressions of Interest (RFEOI) out for a company "to develop, install, own, operate and finance a Public Bicycle System (“PBS”)... targeting launch in Spring 2012 or earlier." (It's interesting that there happens to be a company named Public Bicycle System Company that is also in Canada. Merely a coincidence tho'.)
It's interesting to see cities are getting smarter and turning the outdoor advertising business model of bike-sharing on its head. Instead of cities doing a public tender for an outdoor advertising program and getting a "free" bike-sharing service, the trend is to now to do a public tender for bike-sharing through a bike-sharing service contract and getting it for free. It keeps things simpler and the revenues cleaner.
Pedal hard, Vancouver! The service should be up and running in time for your hosting of the Velo-city Global conference in Spring 2012.
Friday, April 29, 2011
The special built 7-speed tandem was made by Cycle DeVinci, the company which makes the bicycles for Public Bike System Company, the suppler to London's Barclays Cycle Hire. It was commissioned by SERCO -- the system's operating company. Mayor "Boris" presented the bike as a wedding gift from the people of London during an open air ceremony at Trafalgar Square this morning as many "Boris Bikers" watched the royal procession on a giant video screen.
Thursday, April 21, 2011
This afternoon Boston signed the deal to bring bike-sharing to the Massachusetts Bay Area. With the goal of making a regional system, Boston will start Hubway, the name of its bike-sharing service in July with 600 bikes in 61 stations. The neighboring Cambridge, Brookline and Somerville communities are expected to join Hubway within the year and other communities to follow soon thereafter to ultimately have 5,000 bikes throughout the region with 300 stations. The system will use the Public Bike System Co. equipment, the same as in Washington, DC; Minneapolis; London; Melbourne; and Montréal. It will be operated by Alta Bicycle Share of Philadelphia which also operates the Washington, DC and Melbourne, Australia programs. The yearly subscription membership is pegged fairly high, at $85 which is $25 more a year than the comparable Nice Ride Minnesota and $10 more than Capital Bikeshare. The daily fare for casual users is the same as Minneapolis and Washington at $5.
Thursday, April 7, 2011
Europe: The Price of Success
images: Bike-sharing Blog, Nice Ride, and bIXIRussell Meddin bikesharephiladelphia.org
Friday, April 1, 2011
No more smartcards, mobile phones, or keys are needed with this new technology as all it requires is a chip which is implanted into the customer’s skin. Germany’s Call a Bike system is taking advantage of Canada-based Melanin, Inc.’s high-tech innovation, the IntelliFreckle. The IntelliFreckle is the size of a grain of rice and can be inserted under a customer’s skin through a painless air pump, found at each station.
Deutsche Bahn, the provider of Call a Bike is the first to integrate this biochip into its service to be used in 68 cities where its offerings are already in place. The new service is to be called “Rub a Bike”, named after the action a customer with the biochip must do in order to rent one of the fleet’s bicycles.
To unlock a Rub a Bike, one must rub the body part with the inserted chip directly over the RFID reader on the dock in any stand where a bicycle is parked. A thumbs up image is displayed on the dock with five seconds of the 1984 hit tune “99luftballons” played from speakers on the bike which will signal to the customer that their identification has been accepted and the bike is ready for use.
With the technology being new, there is a rub with some aspects which still are being tweaked. For example, clothing can get in the way of the dock’s reader and the IntelliFreckle chip, so the manufacturer recommends inserting the chip into a location on the body that is not normally covered by clothing. IntelliFreckle’s inventor, Hugh G. Mole, who graduated from McGill University in Montreal stated, “The buttocks and torso are generally not good locations for the chip. The back of the hand works very well, however, due to its extended nature, it seems the middle finger works the best.”
Happy April Fools’ Day from The Bike-sharing Blog! This blog post is a joke, but probably will be true someday.