Bike Dispenser


Ed. Note : Welcome to another installment of our feature ‘Green Tuesday’ here at architecture.MNP This week we welcome back our ninja Austin, coming at you from Jersey with this really siiick post on a machine that dispenses bikes for temporary use. Say it with me now – My Ninja, Please! Enjoy.

I come to you after a long break of not posting to bring to you The Bike Dispenser (cue music).

Leave it to the Dutch (crazy a$$ ninjas) to come up with something so clever, so green, so cool. Basically its like a giant ‘Pez’ dispenser, dishing out bikes on one end and refilling on the other. Apparently it works like this (I don’t speak Dutch); you pay a small fee (around € 2.75 ($3.71) per 20 hours) or, in some cities which have free bike programs its free, you get a bike to use at your leisure. Stroll around as much as you want, return it when you wish to any of the neighborhood Bike Dispensers. Don’t feel like returning it, well you can leave it as is, the bikes are tagged with RFID’s; Bike Dispenser owners/operators can then find the free range bikes about the city and return them to their pens.


Its really ashame that America’s infrastructure in the major metropolitan areas cannot support such fantasies. The car is king and we all must succumb. C’est la vie! Only we as architects can do our part to promote better, healthier means of transportation whenever we have the opportunity.


::images via

[[article by Austin]]

Posted: August 21st, 2007
at 6:00am by Arco

Categories: architecture,my ninja, please,green arch,tech

Comments: 24 comments


24 Responses to 'Bike Dispenser'

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  1. … funny and clever


    22 Aug 07 at 7:22 am


  2. That is very, very cool.

    Neil Fein

    13 Sep 07 at 10:26 pm


  3. cool, i still think some people would hoard them all and ruin it for everyone. nice idea though, there is a resaon this works in Europe, it’s Europe.


    16 Sep 07 at 4:32 am


  4. @adam

    “Bike Dispenser owners/operators can then find the free range bikes about the city and return them to their pens.”

    I think it would work just fine in the states, but carry on being an arrogant twat.

    bob the mob

    18 Oct 08 at 11:34 pm


  5. @bob the mob

    He’s right, this would not work in the major metro areas of the USA, in other places it would. These bikes would be stolen and striped down within 10 minutes if they were in NY city for example regardless of the RFID tag. Residental areas in green belts around the cities would benefit from this though if only as a novelty for kids.

    Having been to America on many occasions the simple fact that there are very few corner stores/shops in residential areas works against the idea in the US whereas in Europe it is quite common to cycle to do shopping for food, groceries, whatever. In the US it is normal to drive to places and no-one wants to be seen to be abnormal. The mere fact that most (all) recent residential developments don’t even have sidewalks demonstrates Americas love of all things car.


    19 Oct 08 at 6:00 am


  6. The reason Europeans and Asians can afford to ride bikes everywhere is simple. Everything is close together and small. American cities are extremely spread out, and many times poorly setup for bikers and pedestrians. It is more convenient to use your car to get places, especially navigating away from your home city. Sadly American infrastructure is degrading quite rapidly, and that also does make it easy for people to bike. But there is a reason why the car is king in America, and it is distance.


    19 Oct 08 at 10:25 am


  7. No, bob, you don’t understand. We’re talking about the united states, where people only care about themselves. It’s called the tragedy of the commons. (wikipedia is here) we tried this in new york and about a week after it was introduced, they only found one usable bike.


    19 Oct 08 at 10:48 am


  8. I love the idea. My brother-in-law is Dutch and I can see him using these, although he already owns a bike. They would be great for Urban areas. I always walked or used public transportation when I lived in the Cities (Boston & NYC), but now I’m am in the country, where there is no public transportation and you need a car to get around. After the over 11 feet of snow that we had last winter, I’d say a bike is not going to get you very far here. You just cannot carry a bale of Hay and a 50 pound bag of grain on bike.


    19 Oct 08 at 11:04 am


  9. buy your own goddamn bike. and as far as distance goes dont be a pussy, suck it up, and ride your damn bike.

    everyone thinks they know everything

    19 Oct 08 at 2:22 pm


  10. fuck you. don’t tell us what to do, nazi. Go suck some more corporate dick. it’ll make you feel better.


    19 Oct 08 at 9:30 pm


  11. ADMIN:

    whoa now ladies – let’s play nice. i know the internet makes you feel all brave and tough, but this site isn’t a place for you to come be an ass.

    all comments along the lines of the 2 above this one will be deleted.


    19 Oct 08 at 11:47 pm


  12. I am currently living in South Korea, and this would be an incredible thing to have in the major cities such as Seoul, Busan, Jeon-ju, Daegu, Daejeon. There is a large population of foreigners and this would make visiting and traveling around ones own city much more enjoyable. Great concept

    Korean Teacher

    20 Oct 08 at 10:36 am


  13. this is an over engineered solution to a simple problem. only the prosperous, planet-raping, elite nations can think up crap like this.

    u r all morons

    20 Oct 08 at 2:08 pm


  14. It’s really too bad that people have to demonstrate their ignorance and lack of imagination by resorting to foul language and insults in response to anything they didn’t think of themselves.It almost seems as though it is impossible to read more than three comments on anything without somebody with extrememly limited vocabulary and even less intelligence intruding on what otherwise might be an interesting conversation. I wonder if somebody has to turn the computer on for them so they can prowl the internet looking for ways to demonstrate their total lack of anything interesting or useful to offer.
    Bikes are a wonderful way to get around cities, and perhaps not every North American city would suffer the same result as New York did. It’s hard not to chuckle when flying past people stuck for ages in rush hour traffic. A vehicle is almost an essential here though because of winter (a lot of us DON’T live in places such as Florida) and distance between cities but shopping malls are accessible by bike almost everywhere in a city. Everyone is in such a hurry though. Also, some drivers (possibly the same droolers who post random obscenities on the internet) are hostile to bikeriders and can be a definite danger.


    21 Oct 08 at 8:55 am


  15. Thank you Celia – your comment is much appreciated by AMNP.


  16. I agree with Celia entirely and also this idea is based on the fact that bikes are the most common form of transport in the Netherlands. If any of you offensive posters above have ever been to the Netherlands then you will understand the sheer volume of bikes is unbelievable. No matter where there is a railing or some kind of post in the ground, there will be as many bikes locked to it as is physically possible. You travel around, lock your bike up then maybe go for a coffee… 15 minutes later you come back and someone has locked their bike in a place so you can no longer reach your own. The dispenser is there not only to provide but to STORE the bikes. It clears the clutter and means you dont need to risk losing access to your own.
    Try an collect more than 2 brain cells, rub them together and it might release some of that pent up, pointless aggression some of you seem to have going on. Oh and “Anonymous” (the one too scared to show his own name) dont call people Nazi’s…. I think its obvious why not.


    22 Oct 08 at 4:15 pm


  17. There used to be a thing called “nettiquette”. a code of net conduct that took into account how we all have diffent views and the on the net it would be too easy to be nasty – much more so that in real life. 10 years later and the things have in a bad direction. any web page with a comments section is full of vile, nasty ranting. I nice page about a cycle project becomes place for people to call eachother names. seriously chill out, Stumble users.

    And put your flags away!


    23 Oct 08 at 6:18 pm


  18. I read a quote once (I unfortunateky cannot remember the author; sorry) that suggested that personal etiquette went out the window the moment people didn’t have to worry about being punched in the face as a direct result of something they said. I think I agree…


    26 Oct 08 at 8:38 pm


  19. I love the idea!


    26 Oct 08 at 8:57 pm


  20. While I love the idea of rapidly available bikes (like iGo and ZipCars) I agree that there needn’t be a special dispensing unit. Think about airports. There we stick in our payment to merely toggle a compact and efficient luggage trolley from a dispenser smaller than grocery cart “garages.”

    Nichole L. Reber

    19 Nov 08 at 7:52 pm


  21. Assuming this machine is like any other rental machine, then there will be a credit card required to rent the bike. They have your credit card, you don’t return the bike? Great, you just bought it. This is why RedBox works, and works well. It is not a political/ cultural issue, simple business.

    zach h

    27 Oct 09 at 3:03 am


  22. Riding on a daily basis in the US, I can vouch for the poor city/bike design. Most of our cities are set up for cars.

    It is slowly changing though. I have seen a lot more people on bikes, but a lot of people still need to learn how to ride safely.

    As our cities become more bike friendly, we will see more people on bikes. The notion that we are too spread out around here only goes so far. We are not going to give up our cars anytime soon, but a bike friendly city would get more people on bikes more often.

    Captain bicycle

    18 Nov 09 at 1:01 am


  23. Actually, its not just a “European” thing, we have these here in Canada. They are called Bixi, Montreal started out a program of about 3000 of them, and there are other cities looking into it here, so its just the point of your cities and people actually making the idea happen for you in the States…


    28 Nov 09 at 8:10 am


  24. just did a project in architecture at clemson on developing a bike share program based on the few around the world. it was quite interesting and seems that it is a good alternative to travel through out a big city


    11 Oct 10 at 9:03 am



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