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