This system encourages bike usage, by making bikes available and accessible. The bikes are "free-floating", meaning they are left and locked wherever the rider is when they finish a ride. The bike's GPS allows a fleet operator to know where the bikes are at all times.
This system is especially intended for students attending classes downtown.
Like docked systems, those taking advantage of a bike ride opportunity in a free-floating system are opportunistic users (They are out and about… they see a bike and decide to ride it). So, the system needs to appeal, primarily, to spontaneous need, rather than a “planned” ride activity.
Free-floating systems rely on the honorable use of those who patronize them. It is all too easy to take bikes out of authorized zones, or park them illegally or leave them in unsightly condition. Rider encouragement and Operator safeguards need to be designed into the system to keep it “ordered” and unobtrusive.
Riders will access the system, utilizing a smartphone app. This app will allow the user/rider to register/subscribe to the system by preauthorizing their credit card, or other method of payment. Some riders will want to register on the spot (“guest” registration), so the process should be very fast.
Once the rider has been authorized to ride the bike, the smartphone is used to communicate with the bike’s rear wheel-mounted Smart Lock, via Bluetooth. The phone allows the bike to be unlocked. Locking is done manually and can be done independent of the smart phone.