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Rideshare bikes

The Union of Concerned Scientist estimates that “cars and trucks account for nearly one-fifth of all US emissions, emitting around 24 pounds of carbon dioxide and other global-warming gases for every gallon of gas… while the great bulk of heat-trapping emissions — more than 19 pounds per gallon — comes right out of a car’s tailpipe.”

In recent years, cities and communities struggling with pollution and smog have begun to look at various options to help promote cleaner forms of transportation and reduce harmful emissions. One popular solution is bicycle sharing. Although riding bikes in cities has long been popular, new technologies have made it possible to establish bicycle sharing stations, allowing more community members to take advantage of this cleaner (and often more efficient) method of transportation without actually owning bicycles themselves. Shared bikes are now common in urban centers around the world, but that doesn’t mean bicycle sharing comes without challenges — especially when it comes to the technology behind these services.

So, how does Exadel fit into this?

The Challenge

One of the bigger challenges many bicycle sharing companies encounter is balancing convenience with the necessary security and anti-theft measures. Whenever new bicycle sharing stations are established, they usually experiences a rash of burglary attempts.

“We know the moment that we put these stations down anywhere the first thing people do — mostly it’s teenagers — is try to steal the bikes,” said Alison Cohen, president of Alta Bicycle Share, in an interview with Fortune. “With a system that’s secure… theft and vandalism are very minimal. The only real theft we’ve seen in the U.S. has been people using a stolen credit card to take a bike and not return it.”

That’s the challenge: bicycle sharing companies need to ensure their bicycles are secure enough to not be stolen, but convenient enough that people will want to rent them. Additionally, digital security needs to be in place to stop identity theft and keep customer information safe.

Exadel Provides a Solution

When Exadel was approached by BCycle, one of the bicycle sharing industry’s leading companies, we were eager to tackle this challenge. BCycle needed to offer convenient payment and management options to customers while retaining the ability to scale both nationally and internationally. Our team used a combination of technology solutions to help them accomplish their goals.

First, we created custom kiosk software, mobile apps, and websites that would all serve as a unified customer interface. It was also important that these systems be customizable to work in the many different cities and communities in which BCycle operated.

Additionally, because credit card fraud was one of their biggest issues, we leveraged Authorize.Net — one of the leading e-commerce solutions on the market — to handle BCycle’s payment transactions securely and efficiently. For BCycle’s international expansion to Chile, Transbank support was also included.

Finally, to make their system even more convenient (especially for repeat customers), we implemented an RFID tracking system: every rider was provided with a card the size of their driver’s license, and the card’s RFID tag allows them to wave their card near a bicycle station to release and rent the bike instantly using their saved user information. So, no standing around entering payment information or waiting for bicycles to unlock. Our solution made it easier than ever before for customers to rent and ride BCycle bicycles.

The Upshot

Thanks in part to our solution, BCycle has the technological infrastructure in place to successfully expand to nearly 40 cities (in the U.S. and abroad) and is now one of the leaders in the bike sharing industry. Read more about our partnership and get in touch today if you think Exadel can help your company with the solutions it needs to succeed.

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