I was in the Philadelphia last week for a business trip. Living in the center of downtown, I walked around one day in the early morning before all the meetings.
I saw a bike docking station one block away from my hotel. I would say no one will miss the station because its highly recognizable sky blue color. YES, as you can see, the station is solar powered!
There are some instructions telling riders: 1) how to get and return a bike; 2) to protect the head; 3) to adjust the saddle; and 4) to obey the rules
From what I saw, the bikes are slightly different one from another. Riders can choose the bikes with a basket at the front or the back.
The bike share program launched in 2015 is called Indego. It is owned by the City of Philadelphia. According to this article, the City spent $3 million on the bikes and stations. Independence Blue Cross spent $1.7 million a year for five years for the operation. The rest of the funds came from the state, federal, and foundation. This is a very typical public-private partnership bike share program like the Citi Bike in New York City.
Like riders all over the world, riders in Philly sometimes are unhappy to see a completely empty or full station. A team has to use the trucks to manually rebalance. I noticed the Indego team has the real time data which has been integrated into the B-Cycle App. Riders can also check the online map before heading to a station.
I believe the further data analysis with both the real time and accumulative data will help Indego to predict the riding patterns or even resize the docking stations.
Next time when I am in Philly, I will make sure I ride on the Indego to revisit my favorite Carpenters’ Hall.