Shared bicycles are great. I use them all the time. I use them to travel short distances, like from my place to the Louvre, and then over the river Seine to the Eiffel Tower. Nobody honks at me to get off the road, and there are cycle paths everywhere which everybody respects, even drivers…oh wait a minute, that was in France.
In Europe, shared bicycle systems seem to work. It must be a culture thing.
So when designing for a specific country, you need to think about the cultural constraints, for they too, just like physical constraints, create boundaries for your product.
Bringing a shared bicycle system to Sydney is going to be a challenge.
But good on ‘em for trying.
I won’t go into the many challenges/problems that the system has or will face, but I will touch on one. The first one you will encounter when using one of these bikes. And that is, the helmet.
In Sydney it is law that you use an approved helmet while riding a bicycle. Now the shared bicycle people have been kind enough to let you share those too.
That’s right. Not only do you share the bike with everyone and anyone, but you also share the helmet….with everyone and anyone.
Cycling can be a sweaty affair, and share helmets are not a good idea.
So, problem? One of many.
Solution? Hairnets? Bandannas? Carry you own helmet with you? Abolish the helmet law?
What can you come up with?
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