Innovation That Matters

An iPhone app for Barcelona's bike sharing service


We’ve written fairly extensively about city bike schemes already, and Barcelona’s two-year-old Bicing is a shining example. Now, bringing the service into the iPhone era, Bicing recently launched a mobile application that consumers can use to get location-based information about bicycle and parking availability. Residents of Barcelona use Bicing by applying for a personal card and then using that card to rent and pay for use of one of the service’s 6,000 bicycles. Bicycles can be picked up from and returned to any of 400 stations throughout the city. With the new iBicing application—downloadable from Apple’s iTunes Store for EUR 0.79—consumers can now see in advance the best place to find or bring back a bicycle. All they need do is send an SMS to “7010” for information about the availability of bikes and parking slots at the stations nearest them. iBicing taps the iPhone’s GPS capabilities to pinpoint a user’s location and select which stations would be most convenient, but users can also search for information about others. Google Maps with interactive navigation can be displayed as well. Bike sharing schemes are already laudable for so many reasons, most notably their benefits for the environment and urban congestion. Making such services more convenient for consumers through maps and the increasingly ubiquitous iPhone is the obvious next step toward realizing those benefits more fully. This is “mapmania” at work, as our sister site would say, and it’s one to emulate in bicycle-sharing cities around the globe! (Related: Zipcar’s iPhone app will find and unlock carsFree coffee for iPhone users at Swedish 7-Eleven.) Spotted by: Daniel Rodriguez



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