Finally ... Uber for Bicycles Is Here
The sharing economy is all the rage these days. Want to share your house or your car? There are apps for that. People can even share solar panels and farmers can rent out surplus water. Now, a new startup wants to help you rent out your bike when you're not using it. The company, Donkey Republic, is based out of bike-loving Copenhagen and their calling the service AirDonkey. Using the app, bike owners can rent out their bike when they're not using it.
"We bring together the simplicity of Uber, the sharing economy of Airbnb and the benefits of a bicycle," the company said in their promo video. And they're on a "quest for a world where the bicycle is the preferred mode of transportation," according to their website. AirDonkey is touting its new service as a great way to make a little extra cash, while "bringing bikes to the masses." Biking, AirDonkey points out, has many benefits for society, including improved health and decreased carbon emissions.
“We’re a new bike-sharing service that’s going to disrupt urban transport,” co-founder Erdem Ovacik told The Guardian. “We want to also kind of have a political advocacy side of things: how can cities become more bike friendly? And this is where Copenhagen really is a benchmark.”
So how does it work? It's actually very simple. To "donkify your bike," you order an AirDonkey kit (which is expected to cost 80 euros), which contains a lock and panel that you mount on your bike. You park your bike wherever you like and then take a picture of your bike. Then, you create a profile for your bike on Airdonkey, upload your picture, choose a drop off location, list unique features of your bike, for example, a baby seat or a carrier on the back, and lastly you select a daily and weekly rental price for your bike.
Customers use the app to reserve the bike and make a payment. You get 80 percent and Donkey Republic gets a 20 percent cut. Users find your bike on the map in the app, and they can unlock the bike and use it without you being there. That's it. The user is cruising through town and you just made a little extra cash. Once users are done with your bike, they drop it off at the location that you set, and they take a picture of the bike to show you they didn't wreck your ride.
It seems like a very fluid system. Obviously, a major concern would be theft, but the company says their "safe frame mounting lock" is theft-proof. Bonus: the lock comes in all kinds of cool colors. The company says they've tested the system around Copenhagen and they're about to launch a Kickstarter campaign asking for 100,000 euros (about $113,000 US).
They're recommending a daily rate of 10 euros ($11.19 US) in places like London and Copenhagen and they're hoping to launch the service across several European countries, according to The Guardian. Hopefully, the service will be making its way to the U.S. as well. And Donkey Republic is not the only one providing a service like this. Spinlister is rolling out its own so-called Smart Bike for people to own and rent out.
See how it works here:
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
By Itai Vardi
A recent intensification in protests against Williams Partners' planned Atlantic Sunrise pipeline in Pennsylvania prompted a state senator to propose legislation aimed at limiting demonstrations.
Last month, Pennsylvania Sen. Scott Martin (R-Norman) announced his intention to introduce legislation that would pass the costs of law enforcement responding to protests onto the demonstrators. Martin also helped introduce a different bill that would criminalize protests at natural gas facilities.
The so-called "first and last mile" problem is one of the biggest hurdles with public transportation. How do you encourage more people to take Earth-friendlier commutes when their homes are miles away from the train or bus station?
One solution, as this Estonian electric scooter company proposes, is to simply take your commute with you—literally. Tallinn-based Stigo has developed a compact e-scooter that folds to the size of a rolling suitcase in about two seconds.
[Editor's note: I'm still in shock after hearing the news that Lucia Grenna passed away in her sleep last week. When we first met in April of 2014 at a Copenhagen hotel, I was immediately taken by here powerful presence. We spent the next couple days participating in a Sustainia climate change event where Lucia presented her audacious plans to connect people to the climate issue. I had the chance to partner with Lucia on several other projects throughout the years and work with her incredible Connect4Climate team. I was always in awe of her ability to "make the impossible possible." Her spirit will live on forever. — Stefanie Spear]
It is with a heavy heart that Connect4Climate announces the passing of its founder and leading light, Lucia Grenna. Lucia passed peacefully in her sleep on June 15, well before her time. We remember her for her leadership and extraordinary ability to motivate people to take on some of the greatest challenges of our time, not least climate change.
By Stacy Malkan
Neil deGrasse Tyson has inspired millions of people to care about science and imagine themselves as participants in the scientific process. What a hopeful sign it is to see young girls wearing t-shirts emblazoned with the words, "Forget princess, I want to be an astrophysicist."
As Trevor Noah noted during The Daily Show episode last night (starts at 2:25), the real reason Trump has these rallies is to "get back in front of his loyal crowds and feed of their energy." Noah believes that "Trump supporters are so on board with their dude he can say anything and they'll come along for the ride."
By Katie O'Reilly
Two years ago—long before coal became one of the most dominant and controversial symbols of the 2016 presidential election—Bloomberg Philanthropies approached production company RadicalMedia with the idea of creating a documentary exploring the U.S. coal mining industry. Last spring, they brought on Emmy-nominated director Michael Bonfiglio, tasked with forging a compelling story out of the multitudes of facts, statistics and narratives underlying the declining industry.