Thursday, April 16, 2015

Portland New Bike Share, where citizens own the bikes

Launching a citywide bike-share program costs many millions of dollars—taken from taxpayers or corporate sponsors—and often is a bureaucratic nightmare. But maybe it doesn't have to be like that. Spinlister, a platform that lets people rent outdoor sports equipment to nearby enthusiasts, is launching a bike-share program in Portland, Oregon that shirks the traditional hub and spoke model (designated bike parking and rental stations) for a decentralized network that's more akin to what Car2Go offers for cars. There's another twist: Spinlister won't own the bikes. Local cyclists will. With Spinlister's existing rental service, users rent bikes from a specific person at a certain time and location. The bike-share model will be completely differen. Spinlister power users will be given a new bike from manufacturer VanMoof, designed specifically for the bike-share program, with a Bluetooth lock, motion-activated lights, one-size-fits-all seat, lightweight alloy frame, puncture-resistant tires, and all sorts of theft deterrents. 
There's wireless tracking in the bike, and the only way to turn it off is to saw through the frame. Read on here.

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