Whilst bike-sharing schemes are relatively commonplace
in Europe, in Tokyo they are still a rarity, despite the fact that the Japanese
are bike-crazy. The launch of a new bicycle-sharing service aims to change
that, adding another layer of technological innovation to the existing model.
The program, called Cosoado Cycles, not only places
‘cycle ports’ in municipalities around Tokyo and nearby Yokohama, but also
integrates a strong smartphone element. Potential riders can log on to an
Android mobile phone application to locate a port with a free cycle. The cycles
are fitted with a near-field communication chip that allows users to pay as
well as check the bike out.
Great use of technology to make the scheme more
accessible and user friendly, and will hopefully go some way to end the
challenge of finding a bike in the packed Tokyo bike parks. Read more on the
CNNGo site here.