NYC Implements GPS Bicycles

Many large cities around the globe have implemented bicycle sharing programs.  New York City (a place where thousands of bicycles are stolen each year) is about to join the bicycle sharing fever.  This fall, NYC will implement a new kind of bicycle sharing system that could change the way cities all around the globe share community bicycles.

Rather than create specified bicycle docking points, the NYC system will allow cyclists to chain bicycles anywhere throughout the city.  From a telephone pole to a regular bicycle rack, NYC's SOBI system will make sharing bicycles easier for all.  As soon as a person chains a SOBI bicycle, other cyclists who are looking for a bicycle to use will be automatically notified via cell phone.

In addition to the unique "lock and leave" program that NYC is about to embark on, these bicycles are also equipped with GPS tracking technology.  If a bicycle is stolen, police can use GPS tracking devices in order to locate the stolen bicycle.  City officials hope that this will prevent bicycle theft.  Since the SOBI program does not require any kind of bicycle docking station, any kind of bicycle can be used.

By allowing the city of New York to purchase any kind of new or used bicycle as part of the SOBI system, the city will save thousands of dollars on this bicycle sharing program.  While it costs other cities thousands of dollars to implement community bicycle programs, NYC will spend approximately $500 per bike - a small fee compared to a city like Paris that has spent nearly $3500 per bike.

GPS technology is changing the way that NYC commutes.  Presumably, other cities around the world will have all eyes on New York City once the SOBI program has been implemented.  After all, GPS tracking devices could save cities thousands of dollars, while still making the earth a bit greener.