DCC Bike Box

With the relocation of Interstate 195, an area near downtown Providence known as the Knowledge District has become a prime location for new development. Brown University and other institutions are prominent participants in the area. Sustainable growth will be key to the neighborhood’s long-term improvement.

Down City Cycle (DCC) is a bike-sharing program proposed by my partner, Young-Jun Yoon and myself. It will connect Brown’s main campus with the Knowledge District two miles away, and provide students with a sustainable means to commute to Brown Med buildings in the satellite campus. As Brown continues to expand in the Knowledge District, it becomes more important to provide an environmentally friendly mode of transportation for students.

One important feature of our business model that makes DCC economically feasible and furthers the goal of sustainability is the fact that we will be procuring our bicycles through donation. Unclaimed bikes left at Brown at the end of each year will also be allocated to the bike-sharing program. Because we will be using donated bikes, the size and shape of each unit will vary dramatically. For this reason, it would be difficult to design a docking station that incorporates a latching mechanism to secure the bicycles. To bypass the dilemma of designing a universal locking mechanism, we chose to use bike boxes. Each bike box is an enclosed container that has the added benefit of protecting the confined bike from vandalism and weather. Bike boxes also offer space for advertisements.

We aimed to develop a program that students can use for the everyday commute to class. Users interact with the bike boxes using a radio frequency identification (RFID) equipped card, and bikes will be retrofitted with an RFID device to identify and track them within the system. A solar panel on top of each bike box will provide a sustainable source of electricity for the electronics of the system. All boxes, bikes, and users will be connected and tracked on an online network. Users will be able to locate available bikes, empty boxes, and keep track of trip information using a simple app.

Dimensions:  60” x 36” x 72”

Proposed Materials:  high strength plastic, extruded aluminum

Date:  Fall 2011