I recently read about a couple of interesting bike-related innovations. The first, via Mark Evans, is Bixi Bicycles. They’re a Montreal-based commuting bike rental service, kind of ZipCar for bicycles. They’ve papered downtown Montreal with stations where, using a key system, you can take and return bikes. It costs $78 for a yearly subscription, with trips under 30 minutes free. Longer trips start at $1.50 for the first hour, and increase from there. It’s a service I would have considered using for local trips when we lived in Vancouver.
About the size of a parking space for one car, the Green Pod comes in two configurations: one with a single shower and changing room along with 10 lockers and parking for as many bicycles, and the other with double those facilities. The pod features a solar hot water system, electronic locking system, LED lighting activated by motion sensors, timed showers and a grey water treatment unit that discharges grey water into green areas. The unit can be integrated into indoor or outdoor applications, and it operates on a 12V DC system that can be powered by solar panels on the roof. Also part of the pod is a self-cleaning mechanism that can detect when no one’s inside and lock its doors for some self-cleaning, according to a report in Catapult. Access is via swipe card for registered users.
It’s developed by an Australian company, and definitely looks designed for warmer countries. Hopefully they’ll design something that’s a little less gappy for us Canadians.
Photo by TMAB2003.