A new bike share program has kicked off in Austin, Texas. Just in time for SXSW, Spin launched their new program. Usually I wouldn’t take notice, but the bike share is different. Spin isn’t tied down by any stations to return or pick up the bikes. You’re able to drop the bikes anywhere it’s unobtrusive and legal. This means if you’re biking to the movie theater and want to drop the bike there, just look for the bike rack and leave the Spin bike there.
The idea is neat considering all the other bike share programs require you to drop off at a station. Those stations aren’t near your final destination and can make you go out of your way. The bikes are often not used, or they’re used by tourist wondering around the city.
Spin bike share lets you pick up and drop off anywhere
To use the bike, you’ll download the iOS app, scan the QR code, and pay the fee. The app will unlock the bikes Bluetooth lock, and from there you can go to your destination. Once you arrive, you simply drop the bike off in a safe location near you. This will likely mean a bike rack in front or next to the site you arrive at. This program means there is always going to be a bike nearby you and you never have to worry about finding a drop off location.
The bike uses a small Bluetooth lock on the rear tire to secure the bike from theft or unauthorized usage. Spin has deployed hundreds of bikes in Austin, but they have a lofty goal of deploying 100,000 bikes across the U.S.
It’s raining in Austin today, so I’m opting out of demoing the program, but weather permitting, I’ll give it a whirl tomorrow. Tell us in the comments below what you think about Spin and whether you think it’s better than other bike share programs.