As the already congested streets of the 21st century metropolitans become more overwhelmed with street traffic, more and more people are now taking to bicycles for their day to day commute. Inspired from this new trend, Ryan Rzepecki, an urban planner from New York has now come out with a highly innovative concept of Sobi (Social Bicycles) that is heavily influenced from bicycle sharing programs currently running various other cities. This incredible initiative calls for bicycle pick and drops by users anywhere in the city, thereby eliminating the need of a dedicated infrastructure, such as an office and a garage. As per the initial plans, riders will be able to locate the bicycles via a dedicated smartphone application that would enable them to reserve the bike for their use. Once located and reserved, the riders will have 15 minutes to claim the bike and then use for as long as they wish to.
The Social Bicycles projects calls for a collective collaboration between the riders as the current owner will simply park and lock the bike one his work is done and thus leave the bike open for the second rider. The riders will be required to lock the bike, which can then be unlocked by the next rider using a PIN code that can be entered into the bike’s built-in keypad. The bicycles for Sobi project will custom built city cruisers, which will have the additional add on of a GPS system to keep track of the bike. As per Mr. Rzepecki, the initial launch of the Sobi could feature a $10/month fee structure, where in the riders will be offered one free hour daily, with a $5 fee for an additional each hour. These bikes will also feature integrated lighting powered by solar panels that will also provide energy for the on-board electronics.
Via Bicycle Design