Move over Lance Armstrong, and forget the Tour de France. Prepare instead for the Tour de… Amsterdam? Well, not quite, but it is the hope of a small firm from Amsterdam, Bikedispenser, to help facilitate bike rentals in urban areas by installing bicycle dispensing machines. These machines would be located in various urban transportation hubs, such as train stations and parking garages, where people could quickly and safely rent a bicycle from the fully automated dispensing system. This would thus assist in integrating the use of bicycles into people’s daily commute. Along with the obvious physical benefits of cycling (exercise), this green, “G” idea would help cut down the carbon signature we so readily sign across the environment on a daily basis as we head to and from work.
Intrigued? Well, here’s the straight skinny (like we’ll be, once we start biking to work every day):
With the use of a chip card, the fully automated Bikedispenser rental station will give commuters access to new, state of the art bikes quickly. Within 15 seconds, the bike rental process will be underway and the commuter will be off to his or her destination. When the bicycle is returned, the system will once again recognize the commuter and finish the transaction. The bicycles will be placed in the clearly indicated depository and stored in a safe, indoor location.
Getting this system to work in the States won’t be the easiest road to travel, but it’s definitely worth the effort. Imagine no longer having to be concerned with the theft of or damage to the bike on which you spent so much money, conserving its wellbeing as you help to conserve that of the environment. Imagine, also, the jealous looks of the makeup applying, cell phone using Hummer drivers as you whisk past their bumper to bumper grind on the way to your job. That alone is worth the price of a chip card.
Beginning in October 2007, this ingenious system began operations in the Netherlands. The success thereof will determine the growth of this heady company. The Bikedispencer concept is meant to replace — if not all — at least the final leg of the commute to work, thus making public transportation a more attractive and viable option. This is a very green solution from the people of Amsterdam, which is apropos, as the people of Amsterdam are known for their green.