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  1. #1
    Senior Member tjspiel's Avatar
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    DIY helmet LED lights that help you navigate bike share system

    For all you computer geeks that use bike share systems:

    Citi Bike "Smart" Helmet Navigates to the Nearest Station

    It's initially set up for New York City station locations but will theoretically work for any "bixi" type bike share system.

    Smart phone apps work a lot better but if you like to tinker with electronics it could be a fun project.
    If you're not riding with a psychedelic gecko on your shirt, you ARE having a substandard experience.

  2. #2
    http://www.538.nl acidfast7's Avatar
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    we have bike share systems without stations ... that way you don't need to find a station

    the bikes are continually redistributed around the city after they're serviced.

    i think the station-based idea is kinda lame, honestly.
    Movimento 5 Stelle (M5S)
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  3. #3
    http://www.538.nl acidfast7's Avatar
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    more info:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Call_a_Bike

    i also read that they cost less than €1000 bike which is quite nice

    can you also redistribute them among cities based on demand (i.e. WorldCup cities or Olympic cities get all the bikes) without hitting a theoretical maximal number of stands/places.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member tjspiel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by acidfast7 View Post
    more info:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Call_a_Bike

    i also read that they cost less than €1000 bike which is quite nice

    can you also redistribute them among cities based on demand (i.e. WorldCup cities or Olympic cities get all the bikes) without hitting a theoretical maximal number of stands/places.
    Having fixed stations creates some problems but solves some others, just like having the bikes available at random places.

    With fixed stations you can pretty much count on finding a bike at the same places at a given point in time and with a smart phone app you can know ahead of time if there's a danger of a particular station being low on or out of bikes.

    Also for people without subscriptions, the stations are equipped with a credit card reader so they can easily rent a bike as well.

    To me it seems like there would be pros and cons to a massive redistribution of bikes based on an event whether you use fixed stations or not. The fixed stations are really pretty portable. They are self powered and provide a safe way of locking up the bikes without them being damaged. Regardless I think if you have customers that rely on bikes being available for them to get to work, it would be poor customer service to relocate half the bikes to another location for an event and leave regular customers without them.
    Last edited by tjspiel; 06-20-13 at 03:06 PM.
    If you're not riding with a psychedelic gecko on your shirt, you ARE having a substandard experience.

  5. #5
    http://www.538.nl acidfast7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tjspiel View Post
    Having fixed stations creates some problems but solves some others, just like having the bikes available at random places.

    With fixed stations you can pretty much count on finding a bike at the same places at a given point in time and with a smart phone app you can know ahead of time if there's a danger of a particular station being low on or out of bikes.

    Also for people without subscriptions, the stations are equipped with a credit card reader so they can easily rent a bike as well.

    To me it seems like there would be pros and cons to a massive redistribution of bikes based on an event whether you use fixed stations or not. The fixed stations are really pretty portable. They are self powered and provide a safe way of locking up the bikes without them being damaged. Regardless I think if you have customers that rely on bikes being available for them to get to work, it would be poor customer service to relocate half the bikes to another location for an event and leave regular customers without them.
    for me, the smart phone app gives the location of the individual bikes which is great as i'm not at the mercy of a heavily used station. there are 6 right now within 1 km of me

    the subscription to me is better as it's nationwide and can be used in conjunction with my train pass (there is a car pass option as well just like the bike option ... so I get car/train/bike nationwide all with one subscription that my employer pays instead of a company car ... runs about €400/month).

    why would bikes get damaged if they weren't locked in a station? i never see them damaged over here ... maybe it's different where you are.

    Picture 1.jpg
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  6. #6
    Senior Member tjspiel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by acidfast7 View Post
    for me, the smart phone app gives the location of the individual bikes which is great as i'm not at the mercy of a heavily used station. there are 6 right now within 1 km of me

    the subscription to me is better as it's nationwide and can be used in conjunction with my train pass (there is a car pass option as well just like the bike option ... so I get car/train/bike nationwide all with one subscription that my employer pays instead of a company car ... runs about €400/month).

    why would bikes get damaged if they weren't locked in a station? i never see them damaged over here ... maybe it's different where you are.

    Picture 1.jpg
    Well, I can see 9 or 10 outside my office window right now and I know that some number of bikes will be in the same place tomorrow. If for some reason all those bikes were gone, without pulling out my phone, I know the exact location of another station about 4 blocks away.


    If I do bother to pull out my phone, like I did just now, I can see a third station that's actually a bit closer than the second. There's two more stations slightly farther away.

    In fact there are 6 stations all within 1/3 of a mile of here containing a total of 42 bikes. There are 10 stations within 1/2 mile of here and I'm too lazy to count the number bikes.

    So while 6 bikes within 1 kilometer doesn't sound too bad, I much prefer having 10 stations within same distance whose exact location I can more or less count on.
    Last edited by tjspiel; 06-20-13 at 03:58 PM.
    If you're not riding with a psychedelic gecko on your shirt, you ARE having a substandard experience.

  7. #7
    http://www.538.nl acidfast7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tjspiel View Post
    Well, I can see 9 or 10 outside my office window right now and I know that some number of bikes will be in the same place tomorrow. If for some reason all those bikes were gone, without pulling out my phone, I know the exact location another station about 4 blocks away.


    If I do bother to pull out my phone, like I did just now, I can see a third station that's actually a bit closer than the second. There's two more stations slightly farther away.

    In fact there are 6 stations all within 1/3 of a mile of here containing a total of 42 bikes. There are 10 stations within 1/2 mile of here and I'm too lazy to count the number bikes.

    So while 6 bikes within 1 kilometer doesn't sound too bad, I much prefer having 10 stations within same distance whose exact location I can more or less count on.
    just seems too complicated with no reward.

    i also like the fact that the RFID card will do bikes and cars and is also a train card.

    personally, the stations just sound like a hassle ... i just roll up to my front door and leave the bike ... usually less than a 30sec walk to find one when i want one.

    i like options I guess ... including rolling to the next city and having a bike as soon as I get off the train

    try that with your system

    edit: mr. facypants
    Last edited by acidfast7; 06-20-13 at 04:11 PM.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member tjspiel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by acidfast7 View Post
    just seems too complicated with no reward.

    i also like the fact that the RFID card will do bikes and cars and is also a train card.

    personally, the stations just sound like a hassle ... i just roll up to my front door and leave the bike ... usually less than a 30sec walk to find one when i want one.

    i like options I guess ... including rolling to the next city and having a bike as soon as I get off the train

    try that with your system

    edit: mr. facypants
    Combing bikes, cars, and trains is a great idea on the same card but it's got nothing to do with having stations vs not. Being able to take a train into another city and use the bike share system there is also great but depends on having both trains and bike shares available in both cities. That also has nothing to do with whether a bike share system uses stations or not. Besides, I'm betting that you can't hop on to any train heading to any city and expect use a bike share bike on the other end.

    By next year at least I will be able to hop on a train running to our neighboring "Twin City" and I will be able to get on a bike share bike once I get there, but yes, I will have to have both my Metro Transit "Go" card and my bike share key fob with me in order to do so.

    Anyway, you're right, if there are no stations, you don't have to worry about finding them, but you still have to find a bike. To me that's more of a hassle since they're not always going to be in the same place. And apparently there are actually fewer bikes in the your vicinity than stations in mine. It is more convenient for you that you don't have to worry about finding a station near your destination. However you may have to hunt for another bike on the return trip because there's no guarantee that the same bike will be where you left it. Since more than likely there will be several other bikes wherever I leave mine, there will be still one there when I'm ready to leave.

    To me a stationless bikeshare system is like a bus system that will take you wherever you want to go within a defined region but you never know from one day to the next where exactly to get on. It's more convenient in some ways, but less so in others.

    Hassles are minimized when more bikes/stations are available in either type of system. My guess is that you were assuming that the stations were fewer and farther between than they actually are.
    Last edited by tjspiel; 06-20-13 at 10:46 PM.
    If you're not riding with a psychedelic gecko on your shirt, you ARE having a substandard experience.

  9. #9
    Senior Member tjspiel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by acidfast7 View Post
    just seems too complicated with no reward.

    ...
    Forgot this point. A few rewards are pretty obvious if you look at it from the perspective of a visitor rather than as a registered and regular user.

    First of all, stations filled with bright green bikes located every few blocks are hard to miss as opposed to single bikes that may be locked up under trees or next to regular bikes.

    Stations allow people to get a bike without registering.

    And one thing I see all the time that stations make easy is for GROUPS of people to rent bikes.

    How convenient would it be for of a group of 4 or 6 to track down bikes for them all to use with your system?


    There's no reason with modern technology that you can't have a hybrid system which from what I understand "Call A Bike" sort of is already. It might work fairly well to have the rides be free for subscribers if they leave a bike at a dock but allow them to leave a bike anywhere for an extra fee.
    Last edited by tjspiel; 06-20-13 at 11:27 PM.
    If you're not riding with a psychedelic gecko on your shirt, you ARE having a substandard experience.

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