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Folks over in New York City might have the opportunity to test an experimental public bike sharing system this fall, dubbed SoBi, the Social Bicycle System. This system is designed to be an alternative to traditional public transportation systems, allowing riders the freedom to find and use any nearby communal bikes using an Android or iPhone application. User will be able to create a SoBi account, locate the nearest bike using GPS, and unlock the bike using a PIN number. Users will be able to make short stops when needed, as they can hit a hold button on the lock panel, ensuring that other public riders can’t take the bike for ten minutes. If a SoBi user wants to reserve a bike in advance, they can do so via text message or via the application itself. The creators of SoBi claim that their solution is cheaper to deploy and easier to manage than other city-sharing programs that are being tested out there, and if everything works out hunky-dory, we might have a nice alternative mode of transportation in the city in the future. Check out a video explaining the SoBi system after the jump.

The Social Bicycle System from Ryan Rzepecki on Vimeo.

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