Friday, July 14, 2017

Friday Photo - Dockless Bike Share

Abandoned bike share bicycles in China (photo courtesy of Streets Blog NYC)
Here in Indy, the bicycle sharing program uses fixed docking stations to rent and drop off bicycles. In China, private companies are using dockless bike sharing instead. The technology is quite impressive. To locate where the bikes are, they are equipped with GPS and you can locate them with your smartphone. After you pay (also with smartphone), the bike unlocks, which allows the front wheel to turn. When you are done using the bike, you don't have to return it to a docking station. Instead you just park it in an appropriate place. Some of the bikes used in China are quite cheaply made, which leads to piles like the ones shown in the photo. There have been some start-up companies formed in the U.S. that also plan to implement the dockless bike share model. In April of this year, the National Association of City Transportation Officials issued a statement entitled "Rogue Bike Share Providers Raise Concerns For Cities." Here is the first paragraph:

In recent weeks, “rogue” bike share companies have launched, uninvited, in U.S. cities with flimsy equipment and limited or no public notification, posing significant safety risks to the public, and fully divorced from larger transportation planning and municipal needs. Photos from cities in China, where rogue systems are already in place, show junk heaps of broken bikes. People who have used the bikes in the U.S. report that they are of poor quality and often unsafe.
Obviously, these officials are trying avoid the piles of abandoned bikes that have become eyesores in China.

No comments:

Post a Comment