We first wrote about SocialBicycles when it was just a student project in New York. Now it’s going totally legit with a new website and Kickstarter project that promises to bring real bike sharing to the Windy Apple.
Pledges of $25 or more get a free sharing account plus a credit while $50 gets you a T-shirt. For $500 you get “a 2 hour bike ride around New York” with the founders. “We can talk bikes, technology, and start-ups. BYOB(ike) or if the timing is right we can ride Social Bicycles!” A real treat, to be sure.
The SoBi system works with tablets and smartphones. You “rent” time on the bike and receive a PIN code to unlock a bike near you. When you’re done riding around you park and lock the bike and register its location with the server, thereby allowing others to use it after you. This seems like an excellent opportunity, also, for the burgeoning snarf population in Williamsburg as you can locate any recently-ridden bike in the city.
We need non-central bike rental in New York. Bikes are too often stolen and too often destroyed by the great jaws of this wicked city and to be able to hop on a bike in Manhattan, ride a few blocks, and then park the old girl anywhere would be a godsend.