Tour de Philly

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!img_20161019_093426

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.IMG_20161019_084727.jpg

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.


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