Project: B-Cycle Bike Sharing Kiosk
Submitted by: KIOSK Information Systems
Video demonstration: http://www.bcycle.com/ (Video in upper left hand corner)
Brief overview of the project/technology:
B-cycle is collaboration between three major partners in three industries: Trek Bicycle Corporation, Humana, Inc. and Crispin Porter & Bogusky. B-cycle is an outdoor self-service bike-share kiosk system created for cities, towns, and corporate /university campuses. Each system provides a convenient, affordable, and fun infrastructure enhancement that making profound change in commuter behavior a reality. The kiosks consist of the fixed kiosk rental station / bicycle docks, and 10-12 bikes/each. The outdoor (NEMA 4- rated) station runs on solar and/or AC power (component efficiency fully maximized). Power system includes a solar panel/batteries and a charge controller board. The kiosk houses a low-power outdoor color LCD, credit/member card reader, cellular communications kit, and energy efficient, outdoor rated mini PC. Docking stations house a custom controller board, a proprietary locking mechanism, LED indicators, and an inventory RFID reader. First-time or non- members rent at the kiosk, however B-Connected Card Holders bypass the kiosk and check out at the docking station by passing their card over the RFID reader, releasing the bike in seconds. The station LED indicator lights showing users when they can remove a bike (also signals proper return). The custom B-cycle bikes were designed by Trek Bicycle Corporation with RFID frame tracking for remote inventory and return placement management. Bikes are returned at any B-cycle station – a key tool for maintaining balanced inventory. The bikes also have an integrated computer that logs miles ridden, calories burned, rental duration, and carbon offset contribution (fed to member’s B-cycle web page). The bikes are designed to be rugged, safe and low maintenance. Docking stations can be configured as a single- or dual-sided linear layout to accommodate existing infrastructure constraints. Station base plates can install temporarily for short-term events or be bolted in permanently. Technology >90% custom design.
Objectives of the deployment or the technology:
The objectives tied to every deployment are to provide citizens with improved physical / emotional health and lower care costs, reduced fuel consumption and Co2 emissions, improved traffic flow, and lower overall transportation costs. Statistics tied to Deployment Objectives: Participant Health & Health Care Cost Reduction Benefits – B-cycle commuters lose an average of 13 pounds in their first year, burning over 400 calories per hour. Further, just three hours of biking per week has been proven to reduce heart attack risk by 50%. Improved health and health care cost reduction are two of the primary benefits Humana realized with their original “Free Wheelin” bike share concept, serving as the springboard for the much-expanded B-cycle project. Environment Cleanliness – The average car produces 10,000 pounds of Co2 annually. Each car idling in traffic contributes to $1.4 billion gallons of wasted fuel annually (nationwide). By introducing larger-scale bike sharing infrastructure to communities via self-service, B-cycle will be able to have a much more profound impact on reducing consumption & waste, over time. Efficiency / Economic Improvements – Car commuters spend 50 hours/yr. stuck in traffic, adding to the national total of $9B in lost time/year. Individually, the average car owner spends >$8,500/yr. on car fuel & maintenance (direct / indirect expense reduction). Again, the fundamental assumption is that to realize profound change in commuter behavior, the service has to be provided in a convenient, affordable, and fun infrastructure enhancement. The scale of the city-wide deployments genuinely impacts the carbon footprint of the location. The scales of the current deployments are currently 878 bikes – 80 stations, in eight cities. The statistics cited above become exponentially effective across these eight cities.
The best measurement metric of B-cycle’s impact is represented by the following usage estimates. In the Denver city settings, where there are 532 bikes in a large-scale environment, average per bike ride utilization is seven to eight rides per day (3,900 rides/day total), equating to about 8,000 miles per day and 248,000 calories per day. Converting to carbon offset:
- Corporate Average Fuel Economy sites a 2010 average of 27mpg for passenger vehicles
- EPA estimates 19.4 pounds of C02 emitted per gallon of gas
- Assuming 8,000 miles per day bike utilization / 27 mpg, that equates to about 300 gallons of gas consumption eliminated per day, or 109,500 gallons per year.
- 300 gallons per day * 19.4 pounds of C02 emissions per gallon of gas, equates to eliminating 5,820 pounds of C02 emissions per day. Annually, this converts to 2.1+ Million pounds per year / 963 Metric tons in carbon offset.
B-cycle’s vision is to create transformational environmental impact through lasting changes in commuter behavior. Given these realistic (conservative) usage estimates, Denver stands poised to realize the long-term transformational environmental and cost benefits – mirroring the success of mature European city-wide bike sharing deployments. Staged deployments in HI, TX, NE, FL, and WI are poised for similar benefit. Finally, another indirect benefit of B-cycle is the opportunity with corporate and philanthropic sponsorship (key to B-cycles’ long-term deployment strategy). For example, at the Republican National Convention, participants in a B-Cycle promotion earned $10 for every mile ridden during the 4-day RNC, donated to Red Cross’ relief efforts for victims of Hurricane Gustav. In four days, participants logged 15,141 miles resulting in a $151,414 donation by the Humana Foundation. B-cycle executives fully recognize the PR potential of such a fun, innovative, and clearly beneficial deployment and are actively realizing similar success stories.
Size and geographic location(s) of the deployment:
Number of units deployed – • National Park Service, Washington DC – 3 stations, 30 Bikes (2008) • Humana HQ – Louisville, KY – 3 stations, 30 Bikes (early 2009) • Trek HQ – Waterloo, WI – 1 station, 10 Bikes (early 2009) • Denver Democratic National Convention Installation – 3 Stations, 30 Bikes (2009) • Denver University – 3 stations, 36 Bikes (February 2010) • Denver B-cycle – 50 Stations, 500 bikes • Chicago B-cycle – 6 stations, 100 bikes (August 2010) • Des Moines B-cycle – 4 stations, 18 bikes (September 2010) • Genentech Corporate Campus San Francisco – 6 stations, 65 bikes (October 2010) • Humana HQ – Louisville, KY. – 1 station, 4 bikes (November 2010 • Upcoming 2011 planned deployments: o Hawaii B-cycle o San Antonio B-cycle o Omaha B-cycle o Ft. Lauderdale/Broward County B-cycle o Boulder B-cycle o Madison B-cycle
Technology Providers: • KIOSK Information Systems – all kiosk and docking station hardware engineering and manufacturing • TREK – Custom Bicycles • CP+B - Industrial design, branding, web page design • Amadeus Consulting – all user and consumer information software • Sprint – Wireless communications technology
Selected judges’ comments:
- What a wonderful solution to so many issues. I am not a cyclist, but I would be willing to try something that does so much good so easily. Terrific combination of technology and hardware.
- Innovative concept to rent bikes without having to have it manned. Great use of solar to help power the unit.
- Eco-friendly solution. Great implementation that provides multiple self-service options for the customer (kiosk or tap and go).
- This eco-friendly idea is continuing to gain traction. It is clear that location is very important.