Functioning solution
CS Vision already supplied Bike Sharing systems, with more than 100 automated bicycle racks and 1300 bikes, for 3 major cities. The projects aim to lead to the improvement of living conditions for the population: improved circulation, increased social services quality and enhanced access of the inhabitants.

Functional and technical solution

Automated bicycle racks
For the operation of computerized bicycle racks, the system needs a hardware component that is equipped with a software application. The entire system consists of bike stations which are placed in different locations and interconnected. The bicycleís access is done based on an access card that can be purchased in special centers. The cards are issued after registration with personal data in the customer management system.

Hardware component

The access of a network station will be done through a series of redundant equipment (router mode, 3G Module) that are designed to maintain a permanent network connection between the server and workstations. Each plant has a central command unit installed. The central command unit connects to a monitor equipped with a touchscreen, through which the citizens can inform themselves about the system and can lift/lodge the bicycles. In the central command unit the controller system of the gates is also included. The VPN communication system from the infrastructure system has as main objective the privacy, integrity and data security that is transiting the whole infrastructure of the Bike Sharing system.
Public bicycle station

- Manufactured from stainless steel sheet, anti vandal structure, fully insulated - Equipped with ambient light and light sensors that activates it - The central area could be equipped also with an extra large size display for advertising
Bicycle

- Safety device compatible with the station, mounted on the front - The locking in station is made with a bar with automatic arming - Unique shape and color - The design of the components is dedicated; mounting / detaching components and using them on other bikes on the market will not be possible, not compatible
Software component

The software component serves on the one hand, the stations and the operators and the system administrators and on the other hand, the citizens who uses the bicycles. The Bike Sharing system has a number of components that are described below:

Software management for stations and bicycles
This component works in client/server mode with the totem software installed on each workstation that communicates together with a central server.

Back-office system (customer management, cards, invoices, management)

The back-office system is a component of management, operations and tracking entities defined in the Bike Sharing system, client/server mode, and is accessible via Web browser. The information is stored in a SQL database. The application is used to perform clientís management, cards, invoices, payments and tariff plans, as well as bicycles and stationís management on the ground. In addition, there is also a mode of a system-wide Administration Bike Sharing.

Customer Portal
The system has a public information portal available on the internet. This portal allows authentication based on username and password associated with an access card to view details about customerís account. Customer Portal is a SEO-optimized Web application that complies with good practice in terms of web systems and allows the registration of new user accounts, shows a map of the stations together with the number of bikes available in real time. This portal is also available on mobile and it is optimized for low-traffic and usage on mobile devices offering all portal functionalities.

Conclusions and main benefits

Bike Sharing is an innovative rental system for urban locations. The bicycles are used for an enhanced mobility within the city, as a one-way transportation mean and can be seen as part of the public transportation modes. Bike Sharing is different from the traditional bike rental systems, which generally have a more recreational purpose.

Main benefits:

- Is a faster, more flexible and cheaper inter-city transportation option; - Can be a road opener in widespread acceptance of bicycle as an alternative mean of transportation; - Is an inexpensive alternative compared with other means of public transportation; - Encourages inter-modal transportation.

Public bicycles offer a number of benefits:
- Promote urban cycling and increase its inter-modal function. The public bicycle system can be a promoter for urban cycling as a natural method of transport if it is part of an integrated strategy and if it is combined with other elements to make riding a bike safer; - Fast, flexible and advantageous inter-city transportation that addresses the needs of expanding transportation modes; - Better use of the urban space because the bikes are more ergonomic; - Diversifies the environment-friendly transportation means; - Increases the safety for cyclists in traffic as a consequence of mass use of bicycles. - Strengthens local identity, as public bicycles are fast becoming an essential part of the urban landscape.