By this time next year, folks in Cincinnati will be zipping across downtown on rental two-wheelers courtesy of the city’s new bike sharing program. Once launched, Cincinnati will join New York, Columbus, Indianapolis, Chicago, and dozens of other cities across the U.S. with active bike sharing programs which allow users to rent a bike for a period of time for a flat fee.
Just as this trend has gained legs, however, a new company aims to turn the traditional bike sharing model on its ear. Offering greater flexibility and lower rates, start-up Skyride is set to launch a pilot program in the coming months. Founded by the creators of Skylock, Skyride will allow users to rent a bike on demand for $2 per transaction.
Using Skylocks, solar-powered connected bike locks that can be controlled by a user’s smartphone, riders can rent any available bike in the system no matter where it’s parked for a flat rate for every 30 minutes of their trip. The locks, which sell for $249, are equipped with a GPS device that allows users to locate a bike that’s not already in use. Once a bike is locked, the app will ask the rider if their ride is finished and if so, will stop charging for the session.
According to an article at Tech Crunch, anyone can earn money renting bikes through Skyride, and affiliates pay a 15% revenue share for the use of Skylocks. The company hopes to begin offering service in San Francisco if the pilot program is a success.
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