Those of you looking for more details about the deal between the city of Los Angeles and Bike Nation to install some 400 bike share kiosks and 4,000 bikes over the next 18 months will be happy to see that Streetsblog is actively vetting the project. Streetsblog gathered reader questions and posed them to a Bike Nation team including Navin Narang, an executive with First Pacific Holdings, the company that owns Bike Nation. The Bike Nation crew answered and now we have a much clearer picture about how the bike sharing program will work and how Bike Nation will approach the build out of the system, especially given LA's unique infrastructure, geography, and cultural challenges. Here are some of the highlights from the Q&A:
-- "Bike Nation is the only bike sharing system in the world that uses Active Real Time GPS on our Bikes and Kiosk." The technological component of Bike Nation's system will allow all the social media tie-ins that we are all so accustomed to, but Bike Nation hasn't yet decided whether it will share its data openly: "Bike Nation will be open to data sharing as long as the applications being developed by outside entities don't duplicate Bike Nation's efforts." (Open data sharing is vital to the accuracy of apps like Mapnificent or the brand spanking new Transit Score.)
-- There will be discounts for students and low-income residents.
-- Bike Nation is on Metro's Bicycle Roundtable, which is helping with the county effort to coordinate bike sharing programs around the county.
-- Is the following a guarantee? "Bike Nation is the only Bike Sharing company that has an active load balancing operation platform that ensures that there will be a bike available when needed and an open dock when needed."
-- Bike Nation intends for the system to be profitable. Some would say that will be difficult.
-- Bike Nation knows how much people love a crowdsourcing exercise: "within the next few months the public will be able to log-on and engage with us via our website...or through our social media platforms...and post suggested locations [for kiosks]." Image via Bike Nation
· Bike Nation Responds: Open Data, Social Media, New Kiosks, New Bikes and More... [Streetsblog]
· LA About to Get the US's Second Biggest Bike Sharing Program [Curbed LA]