If you do not currently live in a major metropolitan area, then you may not have heard about community bike or bike share programs. These programs allow pedestrians and mass transit riders another mode of transportation to help them get around. The bikes are often supplied by bike shops and riders can pick them up and drop them off at specified locations through the city. If you own your own bike shop and would like to start your own bike share program where you live, (thereby improving the safety and convenience of public transit) here is what you need to know.
How Bike Share Programs Work
If you model your bike share program after the ones that are popular in New York City, London, Beijing and Paris, you will need bike stations that release bicycles only after payment is accepted and lock the bikes the minute they are returned to the bike racks. A single control tower acts as the payment center and as the monitor for all bikes taken and returned from that location. Every location has its own auto-lock rack and payment tower, so none of the bikes can be removed or stolen without payment. If bikes go missing for a long time, you have the borrower's payment information and can contact the police to track down the missing bike.
The Bikes You Supply
You could supply all different kinds of bikes for the program, thereby letting customers experiment and discover which ones they might like to own (if they wanted to buy a similar bike). You can also choose to order several custom bikes with the same paint job and graphics. The color of paint, the style of bike and the graphics all advertise your store and bike share business while the borrowers ride the bikes all over town. Additionally, if there is another bike share program already in effect where you live, then your business-specific bikes identify you and separate you from other bike share programs.
Your Contribution to Public Transit
The biggest problem with subways is that they do not exist in every city, nor do they connect to other underground trains in other cities. Subways are not always the safest option either. Buses will get you farther, but they are more expensive and buses do not always stop right where people need them to. In some cases, buses stop a mile or slightly more out of the way of passengers' destinations, forcing passengers to go on foot from there. The bike share program your shop sponsors can provide a solution to all of these problems, and promote healthy living too. For more information about bikes and bike shops, contact a professional like Tri-A-Bike Inc .