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

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