Check back in a few minutes

Server Maintenance

Your server is going through a few minutes of routine maintenance. Please don't touch your browser for a few minutes.

What do I do?

  • If you were posting a comment or making a post on your blog then do not press BACK on your browser. Wait 5 minutes and press the refresh icon on your browser. Your comment or post will be sent as normal.
  • If you are browsing a blog here just wait a few moments and hit refresh. The page you were expecting will appear.

Bike-Sharing Gets Smart

A new high-tech program for multi-user bicycles could be offered as a solution to high gas prices and environmental issues

Timothy Devine for TIME

1. Use a card to unlock a SmartBike in Washington.
2. Remove assigned bike from rack; adjust seat.
3. Return to a SmartBike rack within 3 hours.

The pedal pushers are wising up. In the mid-1990s, when public bike-sharing programs were heralded as a way to curb parking shortages as well as greenhouse-gas emissions, dozens of U.S. cities decided to give them a shot. Nonprofits in places like Boulder, Colo.; Charlottesville, Va.; and Gainesville, Fla., launched fleets of communal bikes that people could borrow for free and leave around town for the next rider to happen upon. No locks, no deposits and, pretty soon, no bikes. Theft and vandalism quickly wiped out many of these freewheeling initiatives. This month, however, Washington is rolling out America's first high-tech bike-sharing...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!