Bicycle rental in Paris and other European cities

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reikiman
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Bicycle rental in Paris and other European cities

A month ago I was in Brussels Belgium for a conference and saw a bicycle rental program in operation. Turns out this program is being deployed in other European cities, including in Paris France: Paris and ubiquitous bicycle rental

The picture is from the old town area of Belgium, and if you click on the articles I've linked to you'll see how it looks in Paris or Lyon.

The system has a kiosk at which you can pay for a rental, and a lineup of bicycles each with their own docking station. The station securely latches the bicycle locking it in place. There is a Washington Post article quoting users of the system saying they love the idea, and in some cases that's their main mode of transportation these rental bicycles.

The Washington Post article also discusses earlier programs in Amsterdam and Portland Oregon. There the bicycles were free for anybody to use, they were scattered around the city with no controls, and the bicycles ended up being stolen or too beat up to ride. I dunno how true this is but it seems to make sense that would happen.

It seems to me this offers a possibility for electric bicycle usage. The latching system could, with a bit of engineering, also provide electricity to charge a battery pack.

As I said on my web site the obvious concern is that these bicycles will be rained on. They are outside, no shelter, in places that get frequent rain, and there's enough of them it wouldn't be feasible to take the bicycles inside when it rains. Electrical systems don't like to be rained on, right? But that's just a matter of engineering to make sure everything is water-tight.


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