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Wednesday, May 8, 2013

NYC Gets First Bike Share Apps Before It Gets Bikes [wnyc.org]


The first bike share app for New York City
New York City hasn't even finished laying down the 330 docking stations for itsimpending bike share program, but anticipation is spanning oceans. A Belgian company has released the first "live" mobile app for NYC bike share users, before there are any users. Take it as a sign of what's to come when the largest bike sharing program in the nation launches later this month. 
“We activated the app to be the first,” Tom Claes of the Belgian mobile app company, WebComrades told Transportation Nation. 
His New York City Bike app, available on Android andiPhone, will tell users where the nearest docking station is, plot them on a map, let riders save favorite stations and track which are full and which are empty. In an ideal scenario there is an equilibrium and every docking station has some bikes for people to check out, and some empty slots for people do drop off their bikes at the end of a ride. But experience in other cities has found that sometimes docks fill up, and an app is a helpful way to avoid the full or empty docks, or find a back up. 
The app will also calculate distance and suggest routes. These are pretty much the same features expected to be in the official Citi BikeNYC app, when it launches. It is also similar to the NYC Bike Share app that is available for download and will begin working when Citi Bike launches. 

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