The Downtown Austin Blog has confirmed that B-cycle is the bike company of choice for the new Austin Bike Share program.
DAB reported last week that three companies had submitted proposals to supply Austin Bike Share equipment. We don’t know who yet else applied, but there is some small comfort in knowing that the people in San Antonio seem quite pleased with B-cycle, where they are growing from 30 stations to 45 stations. (Check out their San Antonio rates and coverage here.) B-cycle implementation has been successful in 15 other major cities, including Denver, San Antonio, and Houston and the city aims to have the bike share program operable by late spring 2013.
Here’s Here are some more details on what to expect in Austin:
The city council is expected to approve a $1.6 million contract with B-cycle at the end of the month for 400 bicycles, 580 docks, 40 Map modules, and 40 kiosks, which include the hardware and software to operate the Bike Share Program.
The bicycles are custom made to order and fit a wide range of users and are installed with a self-charging GPS system using RFID technology for tracking and anti-theft purposes, and also come standard with a built-in kryptonite cable lock.
For safety purposes, the bicycles also come equipped with always-on front and a rear lights. The bicycles GPS computer works in unison with the software to show user metrics and other data.
The 40 kiosks and can be configured as a single or double-sided station to custom fit each of the 40 City chosen locations to hold anywhere from 10-20 bicycles.
The kiosk is similar in look and size to a parking meter payment kiosk. The docking stations and kiosks can be solar, A/C or battery powered, or a combination. Wireless cellular technology is used to connect each station to a secure computer server.
The Map Module will be located at each of the 40 kiosk locations and will display a map of the system and safety information. Kiosks cover the basic functions of registration with a credit card and have an English/Spanish touch screen for ease of use with other language capability.
The system comes with Apple and Android mobile applications to allow riders to locate docks, find bikes, and an outbound system to generate text alerts to riders when bikes are overdue. The software and system concept features both back-end and consumer facing web pages that enable members to be part of the expansive bike sharing community.