Innovative Bike Share System Promises Lower Costs

Cities around the world are eager to launch bike share programs, but many are deterred by high start-up costs. A new system may offer a cheaper alternative.

While the Velbi-style system used by Paris and other European cities requires installation of physical docking stations, Social Bicycle System (SoBi) employs a compact lockbox that can be attached to any bicycle. Users in search of a ride can locate and unlock bikes with enabling software on their cell phones. The SoBi cost per bike is $500 versus $4,000 per bike for the Velbi-style system.

A pilot program is coming soon the New York, where developer Ryan Rzepecki was formerly a bicycle planner with the city's Department Of Transportation. However, large government sponsors may not be required in the future, Christian Madera writes:

'What's perhaps most exciting is that given its lower cost and open model – SoBi could eventually be adopted by individuals and smaller organizations to create organic bike sharing networks that could conceivably stretch around the world.'

Full Story: A Smarter Model for Bicycle Sharing


building block set

NEW! Build the world you want to see

Irresistible block set for adults when placed on a coffee table or desk, and great fun for kids.

Prepare for the AICP* Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $245
Book cover of Contemporary Debates in Urban Planning

Contemporary Debates in Urban Planning

Featuring thought-provoking commentary and insights from some of the leading thinkers and practitioners in the field.

Essential Readings in Urban Planning

Planning on taking the AICP* Exam? Register for Planetizen's AICP * Exam Preparation Course to save $25.