May 27, 2011
NTT Docomo Updates its Bike Sharing Service in Japan
It was sometime in earlier January this year when NTT Docomo had announced that it will soon start a Bike Sharing Trial service in Yokohoma through which users will be able to use their smartphone to trace the nearest location facility, book bikes and pay up instantly. The Japanese telecom company has now updated this Interstreet service with a number of different payment options and more bikes with GPS capabilities.
When you want to rent a bike , you’ll have to simply touch the Osaifu Keitai (contactless payment system) enabled mobiles to the sensor pad on the machines and register their phone number and mail address on the touchscreen display. In couple of seconds a confirmation mail will be sent over to your phone which users will then touch to the locking mechanism. This would then unlock the bike and then you can take bike for the registered time frame. For ease of use, the bikes would also feature a dedicated space where you can settle the phone in close viewing area. This way you get to make use of GPS and other related services at ease. This does remind me of the Car sharing venture introduced by BMW and Sixt in Munich which helps one cut down on their carbon footprint whereas this bike sharing service does more than promoting green transport, it also peps up people to go bicycling with the need of actually owning a bike.