The function of the public bicycle security system is to allow the user to securely lock his/her bicycle to it. Anyone choosing to use this system will need a Bicycle Security card. Security Cards can be purchased at a pay station located at any Bicycle Security System location. One can also register his/her ID card, driver’s license or student ID card online instead of using a Security Card. One can also register their bicycle’s serial number to be linked to their card.
After purchasing or registering for a card, slide the card through any available bicycle security rack. The light will change from RED to Green. Next, pull out the cable lock and run the cable through the bicycle. Complete by inserting the cable lock back into the bicycle rack. Once the lock is secure, the light will change back from GREEN to RED. To unlock the bicycle, simply re-slide the card. The light will change again from RED to Green, allowing one to remove the cable lock from their bicycle.
I was looking at a bike rack by the museum one day thinking how useless it was. The purpose of a bike rack is to provide a safe location to secure your bicycle. However, the safety of my bicycle is the last thing that comes to mind when I see a bike rack. Having had my bicycle stolen, I know locking your bicycle to a bike rack is far from safe. Just look at the statistics. Studies also suggest that fear of bicycle theft discourages bicycle use and that many bicycle theft victims do not buy a replacement. Combating bicycle theft is therefore a necessary step toward the use of this sustainable form of transport.
There are also many benefits to riding a bicycle. It reduces the use of automobiles and it’s effects on the environment. It saves you money on gas and car maintenance costs. It also promotes health through exercise. It reduces traffic congestion and promotes use of public transportation. In turn, it saves the city money on road maintenance and improves street infrastructure.
There are 2 main factors that deter theft: The amount of exposure (how much attention is the theft going to cause? how likely will they get caught?) and the complexity of the theft (does it require many tools?). Originally, I tried designing new locking devices. This increased the complexity of the theft but thieves can just come up with new techniques to steal your bicycle. So I sought to come up with a solution to increase the amount of exposure.
Alarms work because they draw attention. My solution is a bike rack with an integrated lock & alarm. While U-Locks are strong, it’s only capable of locking one or two components, leaving other components vulnerable. Cable locks are more flexible, allowing one to lock all of the bike’s components. However, cables can be easily cut. To prevent this, I have integrated a circuit in the cable itself. If the cable is cut, the signal is disrupted and a visual/audio alarm will occur. Simultaneously, a signal is sent to the appropriate authorities.