Social Bicycles is a new bike-share system design created by Ryan Rzepecki. “SoBi” is a transport system which uses wireless technology as access to the bicycles. The product is attached on a bicycle where security and authorization of use is integrated in the unit. A test run for the lock box will be done in New York City this fall.
Unlike existing bike share programs in Europe and in some cities in the U.S., there will be no need for a bike rack. A user can register online and download a software application for his mobile phone to facilitate the use of the bicycle. A central server tracks the bike, verifies the account information of the user and authorizes the transaction.
The current bike share programs budget about $3000 to $4000 per bike. With the SoBi, the projected start up cost would be around $1000 per bike. SoBi can be attached to almost any bike and it can also double as a utility basket. This new kind of bicycle sharing can be implemented in universities, corporate communities and in smaller cities.
Social Bicycles is currently a contender in the Pepsi Refresh Competition under the Neighborhoods category.