We are rolling out our smart bikes in the town of Ipswich on the 30th of March. This launch is the result of collaboration and partnership with both the Suffolk County Council and Ipswich Borough Council.
One notable difference from previous launches is the introduction of a hybrid locking solution. This locking system integrates a smart lock with a cable. This means all Urbo bikes must be locked to existing parking infrastructure.
The locking system is in response to the specific needs of Ipswich town. Tom McGovern, Head of Urbo in the U.K. said “When we are launching in any city or town we always pay close attention to the specific needs and nuances of that area. We look at everything from topography to typical weather conditions. Ipswich being a coastal town, can have quite high winds. To accommodate this we came up with a dual locking system to ensure bikes would not be blown over and are therefore always neat, tidy and readily available for users”
To use the bike sharing scheme, users download an app free of charge. They then pay a special price annual membership of just £1. Not only that, they then get their first five rides for free. After that, each 30 minutes costs just 50 pence. Users open the app and simply scan a QR code on the lock on the back wheel. Users then un-loop the cable from around the steel parking stand. All stands are indicated on the Urbo app for ease of use. Upon finishing a ride, the user then loops the cable lock around a steel stand and slides the smart lock lever back into place.
Another aspect of Urbo’s research is finding and aligning with relevant local partners. Brian McGovern, CEO of Urbo said “Partnering with local experts plays a pivotal role in the success of our systems. In Ipswich we have partnered with Elmy Cycles for bike maintenance and operations. They are, of course, bike experts, but also know the area, having been in the heart of Ipswich since 1922”.
Urbo have a track record of partnering with local shops for maintenance throughout every city or town they operate in, having partnered with Walthamstow Cycles for London bike maintenance.
For further information on Urbo and the Ipswich launch, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.