bike-sharing-japanRide sharing services like Uber and Lyft are pretty prevalent, but in case you’d rather not contribute to CO2 emissions and get a workout in at the same time, bike sharing could be an alternative. Such services aren’t new and it was a few months ago that bike sharing was launched in China, and now it looks like it’s becoming a thing in Japan.

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According to a report from the Nikkei Technology Online, Softbank and Openstreet will be launching a bicycle sharing program. Users who wish to take part in this program will have to sign up for an account, after which they will be able to look around their area for registered bicycles that are part of this program. They can then reserve a bicycle and pay a fee using either their phones or their computers.

The service will also be integrated with the Suica pass system which is used in Japan for mobile payments and also to pay for train rides. All users have to do is tap the operation panel of the bicycle with their card and it will unlock it. Of course there is the question of what’s to prevent someone from stealing these bicycles?

Each bicycle is expected to come with a smart lock (pictured above) and a built-in GPS system, meaning that they can be tracked, that is assuming that the locks haven’t been cut and disposed of. It’s an interesting feature and one that a country that relies pretty heavily on bicycles will most likely be able to appreciate.

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