No Room on a Bike Rack? Not a Problem for These Smart Bikes

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

No Room on a Bike Rack? Not a Problem for These Smart Bikes

It promised a new way of bike riding in New York City — GPS-tracked smart bikes that would rent for as little as $1 and did not have to be picked up or returned to fixed locations.

But before it could even start, the company that operates the bikes, Spin, canceled a demonstration project in the Rockaways in Queens after receiving a cease-and-desist letter from city transportation officials. A news conference to welcome the neon-orange Spin bikes instead became a rally to bring them to the beachside community complete with ceremonial rides along the boardwalk.

Spin’s unsuccessful effort comes as a new generation of tech-savvy bike companies are vying to make riding less expensive and more convenient, competing with more established bike-share programs in the process. Instead of heading to a docking station full of bikes, riders tap a mobile app to locate the closest bicycle left by a previous rider on a street or sidewalk, or in another public space. . .

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