How I tried to take a bike at a public bike rental in St. Petersburg. IT perspective

    Yesterday in St. Petersburg officially launched a public bike rental with many points around the city. The event was interesting, so I was not too lazy to go try it out and find out how everything works. The interest was from the point of view of IT, the quality and level of the great people interested me much less. Therefore, I think that the article may be of interest to the habrosociety.
    Ps hubs selected articles neatly mated to the insides. Ideal, I think not.

    How it all started

    Being a supporter of an ecological lifestyle, I always tried to be interested in bicycle infrastructure. There are already a lot of rental points in St. Petersburg, the community is large, but there were no progress from the state until yesterday. I came across an announcement that a public city bike rental will open on July 3. He began to study and dig.

    The first difficulty was to find out the official website of this bike rental. In one article I found a link to, but this domain was not even registered. I wrote to various activists, constantly monitored news from popular media (thanks to Google with its search option in the last hour). As a result, I got a real site - Disappointment awaited immediately, because the site was "closed" in a very primitive way: by redirecting from the main page to the internal, on which only the logo was located. Not serious, especially considering that the inner pages were accessible. All that was needed was to know the exact addresses.

    Misses of the current stage:
    1. If you already closed the site, then you had to do a normal landing page. With the email collection form, for example, and for the further purpose of reporting an open registration on the site. Or at least add some text with information when registration becomes publicly available
    2. Immediately negative impression of the site design. Ala 2000s. The feeling that they took the standard template and put the logo. IMHO it’s impossible now

    We try to work with the site

    When the site was still closed, but it was possible to go through the internal pages, I tried to register. It didn’t work, they closed it. He writes "not enough rights." I called tech support, they said registration will be available in the morning on the day of the official opening. The next day, in the morning we opened the site for viewing, but registration is still impossible. Those. support said that at 16:00 will open.

    Ok I waited, registered. Began to deal with pricing to pay. As I understand it, the principle is the same as in the Moscow bike rental (they even say that the old Moscow greats were brought to St. Petersburg). There are two payments:
    • For the right to use. Have to pay love. If you take it for the season, then the price is very affordable - 950 rubles. Per day - 100 rubles.
    • For the actual trip time. The first half hour is free, more payment appears on the rise

    Accordingly, before you take a bike, you need to have a subscription for the right to use and at least 50 rubles to pay for the trip for the current date.


    Paid, money did not appear on the account. Instead of 0 it became, minus 100. Not realizing what was happening, I tried to press the “activate tariff” button again, I was sent to the payment page (third-party service). I went out, in the end it became minus 200. I call technical support, I tell the situation. While chatting money came. They promised to return the repeated subscription fee. Ex. The practical part remains - to test is great. By the way, payment notifications came in English, which hints at the borrowing of the entire system from behind the hill.

    Misses of the current stage:
    1. Crediting funds must be instant. Users really don't like it when their money evaporates
    2. The menu of your personal account is intuitively incomprehensible. Below is a screenshot. For example, what are the differences between rental and rental bikes. The first just shows what I took and where. The second is empty. As if the same.
    3. Found a bug with repeated withdrawal of a subscription for an already paid period. Today, they called back and said that they corrected.
    4. The subscription payment interface is also confusing, to be honest

    Travel List

    Tariff activation (subscription payment)

    Deposit Notification


    We take and give the bike

    The site has a decent map with accessibility by bike. Here, in principle, there are no complaints. Where I wanted to come, there were bicycles. I remembered my number and pincode, went to Chernyshevskaya. Nearby are a bunch of interested passers-by, but no one from the knowledgeable staff. I tried to push the buttons - there is no reaction. Then the screen went blank altogether. (By the way, they work from solar energy, which is extremely curious. In St. Petersburg, the sun is not enough alas). I was upset, but did not despair and decided to go to the next metro station.

    At the Uprising there was a staff who glued stickers with an advertisement for a Moscow bike. With me he pulled one great. I thought, cheers, everything works here. As it turned out, in order for the ziffers to be pressed, it was first necessary to “start” the remote control by pressing the “power” button. Brilliant !!! This has not been written anywhere. However, this is the first time problem. Perhaps I left Chernyshevskaya in vain. Further, everything is simple, the interface is a little thoughtful. I had to wait 30 seconds between entering a PIN code and choosing a bicycle.

    Here is this remote

    The bike turned out to be surprisingly good, with three speeds. You can ride around the city comfortably. We leave a detailed description for the bicycle forums. Turning over is easier than taking. The main

    thing is that he fixates. Slips of the current stage:
    1. It is not immediately clear how to activate the remote;
    2. On the first day, volunteer support could be arranged at each counter. I, for example, would not have left Chernyshevskaya, and the guy at the BKZ would not have tried to tear it big;

    • The lag of the done practical part from PR;
    • In principle, a working rental, critical functions are implemented;
    • Good, easy to understand and pleasant technical support.

    In general, there is much to develop, I wish the take-off project, and St. Petersburg has more bike paths.

    Some more pictures:

    Sami bikes

    interested in people

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