High-Tech Bike Share Program Riding Onto NYC Streets

08/23/2010 3:37 PM |

Social Bikes SoBi New York bike share

Despite all the improvements New York City cyclists have accrued the last few years, there’s one bicycle amenity that many major cities already have (including Denver for chrissakes!) that we’re still missing: a bike share system. Not for long, though, especially if Ryan Rzepecki can get his SoBi (Social Bicycle) system off the ground. His plan (which he’ll explain to you via video after the jump) hinges on lockbox technology (pictured) would cost a third or less of the normal price of starting a bike share system (less than $1,000 instead of $3,000-$4,000), and do away with the need to set up stations all over town. Just make sure those lockboxes are glue-resistant.

By putting all the technology right on the bike, they can be locked up anywhere, and unlocked remotely using a pin number or smart phone. Wired explains all the techy details, but if it works—solar cells and smartphone interface alternatives pending—it would be the most cost-effective and flexible way to provide bikes for millions of New Yorkers. In the video below, Rzepecki claims testing will start in the fall, meaning today (amirite?!). Let’s hope SoBi passes those tests.