It has been amply demonstrated that cycling for short routes is an advantageous solution in terms both of time and of ease of parking. Cycling also gives the opportunity to discover – in a funny, healthy and ecological way – our towns, which have become increasingly frustrated by road congestion and worryingly high levels of pollution. The underpinning idea behind Bicincittà is thus to give an answer to the growing demand of alternative sustainable mobility.
Bicincittà is a bike sharing system, which means sharing bikes, i.e. the possibility to give citizens – in a simple and intuitive way – a certain quantity of public bicycles, and to monitor their pickup and return in real time.
This system is meant to be, on the one hand, a public service providing a real alternative to private motor vehicles, and on the other hand, a strategic mobility planning tool.
Within the framework of intermodality among the various means of transport, Bicincittà is one of the possible alternative means enabling any user who has got off a train or bus to move around the town using another means of public transport guaranteeing autonomy and agility in urban traffic, without any parking problem or endless queues at traffic lights.
For whom Bicincittà is intended for
Cycling, giving up using the car, is one of the good practices that everyone of us should adopt. Bicincittà is namely addressed to all those local governments, bodies, and companies who want to offer citizens or employees, a bicycle already parked right where they need it, like in the historical centre, near the railway station, in park and ride facilities, in front of the hypermarket, or close to other points of public interest.
But Bicincittà is also a good tourist offer: by distributing Bicincittà cards to tourists on holidays in our cities and towns, it is possible to provide a comfortable and funny way to move around, demonstrating our attention to the environment and to alternative mobility.
How Bicincittà works.
By using an electronic card, each user can take a bicycle at any local bike parking area, and return it at any free bike parking lot, even in a different place from the one where the bike was taken. This makes the service very quick and flexible: users can ride the bicycle just for the time actually needed, just like their own car, without polluting air and contributing to the dissemination of a mobility culture that has been proven to be – especially for short trips – quicker and more efficient (the bicycle for sustainable mobility). In this way, the bicycle that is returned becomes immediately available for another user, who will be able to move around the town, and return it at any free column: the result we obtain is a quick use, with a potential interaction among the several points in the city, and a good availability of bicycles.
Bicincittà, its elements.
Bicincittà includes the following elements:
– The bicycle and the bicycle parking
– The monitoring and management system
– The remote diagnosis system
The bicycle and the bicycle parking
This duo determines the extreme flexibility of the system. Each bicycle is namely firmly anchored to a bike parking column, which protects it against theft. The bicycle parking column, equipped with an electric lock, is activated by the user simply by holding an electronic card close to it, both for taking the bicycle and to return it. A group of several bikes is a distribution station, and the number of columns is decided based on actual needs, with no restrictions on the minimum number. In each station there is an information board showing maps of the area, the location of distribution stations, the rules for usage, useful addresses, etc..
The Monitoring and Management system
Each bike pick and return action is transmitted to a server which updates in real time the actual availability of bikes in the area. Each user is registered upon the card issue by entering his/her data and a telephone number into the system. This card, which can be disabled remotely by the service provider, is normally issued for an indefinite time. The system interface provides us data about the transactions of users, and a general overview; we can analyse the traffic flows, and develop statistics on the system use. For the planner, this data contains the indicators to assess the actual system use, allowing to make choices concerning the service increase, or the opportunity to prepare a targeted communication campaign.
The Remote Diagnosis system
Bicincittà includes a remote diagnosis system that allows to know the bike parking lot status at any time. If a unit is defective, a remote unlock system allows to fully restore the efficiency both of the individual bike parking lot, and of the entire distribution station. The remote diagnosis and troubleshooting utility allows to guarantee the service full efficiency, which is essential to provide a quality service to citizens.
Find your bike
How do I know if there are bikes available? Easy. Just connect to the bicincitta website, and you can see in real time, in the cities and towns that have adopted this system, the bicycles that are still available in that moment. And that’s not all. Bicincittà users who hold a card, can consult their data and journeys in a given period of time, entering a login name and password that are provided when the user subscribes to the service.
The bikes, bike parking lots, information boards, and electronic cards can be customized according to the corporate image of the customer, developing a campaign expressing – in terms of visual communication – a clear intention to improve the urban environment.