The Future of the Urban Biking Experience
Aside from gadgetry, some say technology is going to enhance the way cities provide bike sharing systems. One of the emerging technologies is a location system to help cities manage where their fleets should go -- and to help riders find available bikes.
"The next generation of bike sharing, especially for larger, more far-flung cities, has got to include smart distribution systems, [bicycle sharing system innovator Luud] Schimmelpennink says. In fact, getting distribution down was an early challenge for the Paris Vélib system, as users tended to congregate at high-traffic stations at key rush hour moments (and after party hours on weekends), and experienced frustration if bikes were not available at their nearest location or if they were unable to return a bike because a station was full of bikes. Schimmelpennink says his updated White Bike system, which is driven by a smart card similar to the Hong Kong Octopus, Paris Navigo Amsterdam OV card, solves that issue with software and user perks. An iPhone application uses small, diamond-shaped indicators to represent the WiFi poles at each bike station location."