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Spring 2019 Station Shift !!

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What is Spring 2019 Station Shift, You Ask?

 

We’re writing with some exciting news as we pursue our mission to operate a valuable, sustainable bike-sharing system here in Boulder. As Boulder B-cycle turns eight this spring (May 20!), we’re able to look back and see that the system’s use has increased every year since its launch in 2011, and with each year a pattern becomes clearer: the most-used stations are in higher-density parts of Boulder where connections to commerce and transit abound.

We’re always striving to make the system more useful and efficient, and this year we’ll be seeking to launch new stations in promising locations around town. As we’ve done in the past, we’ll be relocating some of the system’s least-used stations to make this happen.  While we understand that this may inconvenience some riders, we're confident that the station relocations will offer more bikes in high-traffic areas.

We plan to begin removing the following stations this spring 2019:

  • Gunbarrel North

  • Table Mesa Park’n’Ride

  • 30th & Diagonal Highway

  • Broadway & Iris

  • North Boulder Recreation Center

Work to remove the first two stations on the list above may start as soon as this month (April), and we’ve also notified anyone who has used these stations in the last year so that they know of these upcoming changes.

As always, feel free to reach out with any questions. This work will all be completed by the end of 2019.

Happy Riding!


The B-cycle Team
info@boulderbcycle.org

 




An update on solar station problems

by Kevin Bell | Sep 29, 2017

Those of you who have ridden with us for more than a year likely know by now that when the weather starts to turn cold and cloudy, it can impact our solar-powered stations, which total 26 of our 43 active stations. However, this year the problem has presented itself earlier and far more aggressively than anticipated. Of course, you don’t need us to tell you how bad it’s been—you’ve likely been personally impacted by these issues over the last week:

Screen Shot 2017-09-29 at 9.57.35 AM

The purpose of this post is to explain what we know about the cause of the issues, as well as what we’re doing to fix them, including possible changes we’re looking to make in our operations going forward.

First, here’s what we know about solar issues: each solar station houses two twelve volt batteries, which are intended to be charged by the solar panel over the course of the day. Absent any solar power, we expect those batteries to last approximately 48 hours. While the current string of overcast weather we’re seeing—nearly a week without prolonged direct sun—is certainly rare for Boulder, increased system use is also placing extra demand on solar-powered stations, as Boulder B-cycle riders are on track to take 100,000+ trips in 2017!

Typically, we’re able to stay ahead of solar issues by adjusting solar panels and charging a bank of batteries in our office to swap into stations as they run low on power, though there are limitations based on the power supply of our non-industrial office/shop space. Even though we’ve recently invested in fresh batteries and a larger charging bank, our capacity to charge only eight batteries at a time leaves us unable to fully respond to the scale of issues we’re currently seeing.

Based on the outcomes of pending conversations with our equipment provider and other bike sharing programs around the country, we’re also exploring the possibility of investing in some longer-term solutions, which could include some combination of the following:

  • Replacing some of our current stock of batteries with high-capacity, fast-charging lithium iron phosphate (LiFePo) batteries

  • Locating an offsite space where we can operate more battery charging points simultaneously

  • Sourcing higher-efficiency solar panels or upgrading solar power controllers to better draw power in overcast conditions

As always, we’re working to run the best bike sharing program possible with the resources that are available to us. To that end, we have found ourselves unable to provide a satisfactory level of service this past week, and we apologize for the inconvenience that we know this has caused.

As always, you can keep an eye on the BCycle mobile app or our website for live station and bike information.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any questions or concerns: info@boulderbcycle.org


An update on solar station problems

by Kevin Bell | Sep 29, 2017

Those of you who have ridden with us for more than a year likely know by now that when the weather starts to turn cold and cloudy, it can impact our solar-powered stations, which total 26 of our 43 active stations. However, this year the problem has presented itself earlier and far more aggressively than anticipated. Of course, you don’t need us to tell you how bad it’s been—you’ve likely been personally impacted by these issues over the last week:

Screen Shot 2017-09-29 at 9.57.35 AM

The purpose of this post is to explain what we know about the cause of the issues, as well as what we’re doing to fix them, including possible changes we’re looking to make in our operations going forward.

First, here’s what we know about solar issues: each solar station houses two twelve volt batteries, which are intended to be charged by the solar panel over the course of the day. Absent any solar power, we expect those batteries to last approximately 48 hours. While the current string of overcast weather we’re seeing—nearly a week without prolonged direct sun—is certainly rare for Boulder, increased system use is also placing extra demand on solar-powered stations, as Boulder B-cycle riders are on track to take 100,000+ trips in 2017!

Typically, we’re able to stay ahead of solar issues by adjusting solar panels and charging a bank of batteries in our office to swap into stations as they run low on power, though there are limitations based on the power supply of our non-industrial office/shop space. Even though we’ve recently invested in fresh batteries and a larger charging bank, our capacity to charge only eight batteries at a time leaves us unable to fully respond to the scale of issues we’re currently seeing.

Based on the outcomes of pending conversations with our equipment provider and other bike sharing programs around the country, we’re also exploring the possibility of investing in some longer-term solutions, which could include some combination of the following:

  • Replacing some of our current stock of batteries with high-capacity, fast-charging lithium iron phosphate (LiFePo) batteries

  • Locating an offsite space where we can operate more battery charging points simultaneously

  • Sourcing higher-efficiency solar panels or upgrading solar power controllers to better draw power in overcast conditions

As always, we’re working to run the best bike sharing program possible with the resources that are available to us. To that end, we have found ourselves unable to provide a satisfactory level of service this past week, and we apologize for the inconvenience that we know this has caused.

As always, you can keep an eye on the BCycle mobile app or our website for live station and bike information.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any questions or concerns: info@boulderbcycle.org


BroadwayBaseline
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