Figure 1 – Campus’ Dimensions (based on http://www.usp.br/mapas/mapas/pdf/cidadeuniversitaria.pdf)
What is PEDALUSP
PEDALUSP is a 3rd generation bike-sharing system designed by and for the community of the University of São Paulo (Brazil). The project will offer the bike-sharing service free of charge inside and in the vicinity of the University’s main campus as a complement to the existing free bus service.
Not yet operational, PEDALUSP has three main goals. First, to “reduce distances” within the campus by increasing mobility. Planned and built under motorization logic in the mid-1940s, the 4.17 km2 of the campus have a low-density occupation, with internal trips of up to 5km which are mostly covered by private car, bus or on foot. Second, PEDALUSP aims to diminish the environmental impact of the campus’ activities by reducing car dependence. The campus has more than 14,000 parking places and experiences daily traffic jams within its grounds. Finally, PEDALUSP wants to show Brazilian society a success case of bike-sharing, in order to stimulate the spreading of this alternative transport mode.
Started as a Graduation project in the Engineering faculty, PEDALUSP’s bike-sharing technology has been developed with University funding, by two alumni. Users will rent bikes using their University’s ID, which is an IC card. Bicycles are identified with RF technology, and stations are linked to a data center through TCP/IP. Today, two operational prototypes of bike-sharing stations are available.
Figure 2 – One of the operational prototypes of the PEDALUSP bike-sharing station (photo taken on August/2010)
Present and Future
PEDALUSP’s next steps are, first, to deploy the two operational prototypes of bike-sharing stations in the Engineering faculty, and second, to deploy 10 bike-sharing stations and 100 bikes in the campus’s most densely occupied area during one year as a field test.
However, it is not clear yet how the project will be funded, which is the greatest challenge now. Undergoing negotiations with the University administration and future sponsors will say to what extent such project can be funded by private companies’ marketing budgets, and by the University’s budget. It must be said that the University of São Paulo is public, and charges no tuition fee from its students, which adds on to the debate on where the money should come from.
It is expected, though, that the deployment of PEDALUSP should start in early 2011, as soon as the financial question is resolved.
1. PEDALUSP’s blog: http://pedalusp.blogspot.com/
2. PEDALUSP on TV: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KxkS_ADUs0Y
3. Universidade de São Paulo: http://www4.usp.br/
4. Campus’ location: http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Cidade+Universit%C3%A1ria+-+Butant%C3%A3,+Sao+Paulo+-+S%C3%A3o+Paulo,+Brazil&ll=-23.561863,-46.727514&spn=0.039809,0.084543&z=14
Figure 1 – View of POROCLE’s station in Sapporo (photo by M. Matsumoto, June/2010)
What is it ?
Named after “SapPORO CyCLE”, POROCLE is the bike-sharing system of Sapporo City (Hokkaido, Japan), which started in 2009 as short-term ‘social experiences’ under the coordination of Docon Ltd, an engineering consulting company. Later, in 2010, NTT Docomo – one of the leading mobile phone operators in Japan – joined forces with Docon to conduct a larger scale 4-month-long experience which has launched in June 2010 with 6 stations and 50 bicycles and is to be expanded to 15 stations and 100 bicycles. An estimated 2500 users are expected this time.
The goals of POROCLE are threefold: first, to reduce illegal bicycle parking, which is a serious problem in Japan since cycles are so numerous; second, to induce modal shift from automobiles, therefore lowering CO2 emissions; and finally, to revitalize Sapporo’s city center, by making it more attractive.
Also, it must be said that Docon and NTT Docomo see a potential for bike-sharing in Japan as business.
POROCLE’s bike-sharing technology was developed under the supervision of Docon. It is a third-generation bike-sharing system , using bicycles that can be found in the market (Bridgestone Mariposa). Stations are solar/battery powered, and users identify with a contactless IC card. Bicycles are locked through the front wheel in a not so theft-proof way when compared to other systems around the globe. Although, in Japan it seems to be sufficient, as no bicycles have yet been stolen or vandalized from POROCLE.
An evolution of POROCLE’s technology is being prepared, with a specially designed bike and more high-tech stations, to be deployed in the next steps of the project.
Figure 1 – View of Cyclocity’s station in Toyama (photo by H.Morii, June/2010)
After getting famous around the globe as the leading 3rd generation bike-sharing company, Cyclocity arrived in Japan as a company 100% owned by MCDecaux (joint venture of japanese Mitsubishi Corporation and french JCDecaux). Launched on March 2010, Toyama’s bike-sharing program consists of 150 bicycles and 270 racks distributed in 15 stations around the city center. As one of Toyama’s steps towards becoming a Compact City , bike-sharing should promote reduction of the number of short car trips (and thus CO2 emissions) and revitalization of the city center through improving mobility within it.
Toyama is a 420,000 people city located at the Sea of Japan side of central Japan, in the Honshu Island. The city is very sprawled and car-dependant, which is neither good for the environment or for mobility. To counter this, the ‘Toyama Compact City’ program was launched: adensation of population in the city center and around main public transportation routes is being encouraged, the city center is being revitalized and public transportation itself is being improved.
Figure 2 – Station Map of Cyclocity in Toyama (source: en.cyclocity.jp)
Funding and Agreement
City officials visited Barcelona in 2008 to see Bicing, its bike-sharing program, and started to consider how to bring the idea to Toyama. Clear Channel – Bicing’s operator – having dropped out of the japanese market, the City approached MCDecaux with an offer: the city would give subsidy for all the infrastructure needed (including the cost of bikes and stations) up to ¥150,000,000 (about 1.5MUS$) if they brought Cyclocity to Toyama. A 20-year agreement was signed on that basis, and Cyclocity was also given the right to keep user fees and commercialize advertisement space in 30 panels of 2m² scattered around the city center.
The subsidy came as a grant from Japan’s Ministry of Environment, after Toyama being designated in 2008 as one of Japan’s six Eco-Model cities for its Compact City program.
Toyama Cyclocity’s technology is the 3rd generation system  that has been extensely tested and improved in more than 20 cities in the world, including the reknown Vélib’ in Paris. Station and bicycle design was slightly adapted to cope with Toyama’s identity, and Japanese laws – bicycles had to get slimmer. Users identify with a contactless IC card in the terminal or directly in the racks, which are all equipped with a card reading device, thus avoiding queues. Bicycles are identified via RFID technology installed in the locking device, and stations are all linked via GPRS wireless technology to a data center. This ITS (information technology system) provides real time information on how full are stations at each time, and collects usage data that is useful for posterior analysis.
As of June 2010 the tariffs for Toyama Cyclocity were as indicated in table 1 below. Users of public transportation can use their IC card (PASSCA) to subscribe to the system for a lower price.
|Type of pass
|7 day pass
||¥25,000 (only debited if the bike is not returned within 24h
||0 – 30min: free
30min – 1h: ¥200
Each additional 30min : ¥500
|1 year pass
|1 year pass using PASSCA
1) Kiyoshi TAKAMI and Kiichiro HATOYAMA. (2008). Chapter 10: Sustainable Regeneration of a Car-dependent City: The Case of Toyama toward a Compact City. In: Kidokoro, T and Harata, N. Sustainable city regions: space, place and governance. Japan: Springer. p182-199
2) Paul DeMaio. (2009). Bike-sharing: History, Impacts, Models of Provision, and Future. Journal of Public Transportation. 12 (4), 41-56.
3) http://en.cyclocity.jp/Toyama. Accessed on June/2010.