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The post article was interesting, and it corrected my impression of Chinese sales. Perhaps it was 120M total, although I still have problems with that number.

I can't see Cabi doing electric with the solar stations. You've got theft issues as well, although with an electric bike you could have a GPS transponder running.

I like the idea that CaBi might offer more than one type of bicycle.

I was at a town hall meeting on the topic of aging last month in Alexandria and the idea of CaBi tricycles was suggested. If we had better infrastructure, modern tricycles would be a great way for our increasing population of "aging in place" Americans to get around.

And cargo bikes.

Everybody wants e-bikes as part of bike sharing, but they don't make a lot of sense economically.

E-bikes really make sense for trips 5-15 miles long, especially on a round trip commuting basis, for work purposes (like in Charlottesville), and in hill situations.

You don't really have those conditions present in the core of a center city where bike sharing is most likely to work. Not to mention the issue of powering them and theft (as Charlie mentioned).

In the bike sharing proposal we did for Chattanooga (we lost to Bixi/Alta, although I now see that Alta is using some of the exact language that we put into our proposal) we suggested that electric bikes needed to be located at internal stations such as in parking garages, with hardwired electrical connections.

In the interim we switched technology vendors, and they are big into e-bikes. However, we disagree about the financial efficacy of e-bikes in center city bike sharing systems--at least at a $75 cost of annual membership.

Providing access to an e-bike for a one way trip to work and a one way trip back home makes no economic sense for the system.

FWIW, in writings in 2008 I suggested the possibility of having different kinds of bikes in bike sharing systems, but maybe the issue is to provide more ways to provide bike access for particular kinds of uses. That's another line of business we are trying to develop as well. We'll see where it goes.

Note that the previous comment about Alta in paragraph 4 is not correct. They won the proposal, but their use of the fifth generation terminology is happenstance.

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