There’s a must-read article on the Atlanta Magazine website this week for any bicycling advocate in Atlanta: Six lessons Atlanta can learn from New York’s bikeshare woes : The benefit of being a late adopter is learning from others’ mistakes.
The first of the six is this:
Make sure the equipment works. File this under obvious but important. Rampant software glitches and faulty “docking stations” (rental kiosks) marred the launch of Citi Bike and frustrated many riders eager to embrace the system.
Yes to this. I was able to experience the frustration of a glitch-ridden system this week during a visit to Chattanooga, where there is an extensive bike-share system with cocking stations all over the center of the city.
After seeing monthly-card-holding locals ride around on the bikes, I tried to get one myself as a daily rental. I walked all around Downtown Chattanooga to six different stations with no luck as the touch screens froze up on every one half way through the process. No bike for me.
Atlanta is launching its own bike-share program in 2015. I’m glad to read that we’ll be using a different system for bike stations:
The good news for Atlanta is that Cycle Hop has partnered with a company called Social Bicycles to provide a more nimble technology. The booking and tracking device is fitted to the bike itself, rather than to a docking station.
New York City’s Citi Bike program has been a runaway success when it comes to annual memberships, but it has been less successful with attracting casual, one-day riders. By coincidence or not, the system is managed by the same company, Alta, behind Chattanooga’s bike share.
Let’s hope Atlanta can learn from the mistakes made elsewhere and launch a great bike share program. I think there’s a real chance it to be popular here.