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Students pay by phone for bike-sharing on campus

Telecoms & Tech

College campuses are a natural fit for ride-sharing programs, as Zipcar and Zimride have already shown. So it makes perfect sense to see UK-based WhipBikes launch a bike-sharing program targeting a similar audience. Inspired by the bike-sharing programs that are becoming common in many cities, WhipBikes is a self-service sharing system that’s now available at Newcastle University. Faculty and students begin by paying a one-time GBP 14.95 registration fee to sign up with the service. From there on, they’re eligible to use a WhipBike whenever they need one, choosing from the 150 or so bikes scattered all across campus. When they want to rent one, users simply pick a bike and text its bike number to WhipBikes, which will reply with the lock code for that bike. The user then has 30 minutes to ride wherever he or she needs to go and then relock the bike at the nearest WhipBikes rack. The cost of 50p per ride is simply added to the user’s mobile phone bill. WhipBikes also accepts advertising for display on the rear wheel cover of its bikes; pricing is GBP 35 for two weeks. With a solution that not only saves young transumers from having to purchase a bike of their own but also enables advertisers to reach tens of thousands of students throughout the course of the day, WhipBikes is ripe for partnership or emulation on college campuses around the globe. (Related: High-end calculators for rent to studentsHygienic handlebar covers for shared bicyclesBike-sharing comes to AsiaMore free love: notebooks for students.) Spotted by: Florence Lwuoha



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