Thursday, October 22, 2015

The Bike-sharing World - Early Fall 2015

North America

        Chicago Conferences
Swiss Designed Velobility SwissFleet Pedelec
The Shared Use Mobility Center (SUMC) and the North American Bikeshare Association (NABSA) joint conference had two very interesting Public Use Bicycling (PUB) products on display, both making their North American debut: The Velobility pedelec and the Blaze Safety Laserlight.

Velobility, a Swiss producer of bike systems in service in Europe and the Middle East, showed its new SwissFleet pedelec. One of the most intriguing aspects of this bicycle is it has multiple methods for re-charging its electrical-assist motor. Not only could it be recharged at its conventional powered docking station, but also using a soon-to-be adopted universal EnergyBus connector made for all electric vehicle rechargers which are planned to be widely available in many cities. This could be a game changer. This bike improves upon Velobility's RIDEBOX which the Blog wrote about previously. This feature has an electronic self-contained locking mechanism, the electric-assist motor, battery, and all the electronics. There is an on-bike user keypad interface with RFID, NFC, and smartphone connections for easy operation. More importantly, it's a nice riding bike for PUB service!

The Blaze Laserlight on a London Santander Cycle

The bright spot of the new products was definitely the Blaze Laserlight fitted on a PBSC Urban Solutions bicycle. After a year long process, the developers of Blaze working with Transport for London (TfL) and their operator, SERCO, adapted this safety laser light for use on 250 Santander Cycles in London as a trial. The laser light projects an image of a bicycle on the street 6 meters in front of the bicycle while it is in motion and at night. This makes both pedestrians, other cyclists, and motor vehicles take note of the oncoming cycle hire bicycle. All PUB systems should consider incorporating this device in their fleets.

Here is a video of the Blaze Laserlight:

Stay tuned for more updates, including a report on the recent launch of North America's first municipal pedelec program. Plus a sneak peek of the end of the year data from The Bike-sharing World Map.

If you didn't have a chance to make it to the Chicago Conference mentioned above, there is another event of great interest taking place next month at MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts USA.

A Global Summit Investigating Sustainable Mobility Futures: November 11 -13, 2015 and The Disrupting Mobility Hackathon: November 6 -8, 2015

Russell Meddin

Keep in touch with The Bike-sharing World with The Bike-sharing World Map. It is the premiere resource for information on cities with Public Use Bicycle programs and the complement to The Bike-sharing Blog. Use this easy web address for viewing the map:  

Follow the Map on Twitter@BikesharingMap

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