Mighty Touch, a division of Menomonee Falls-based Connected Technology Solutions, teamed up with BCycle, a Waterloo, Wisconsin-based bicycle sharing company owned by Trek Bicycle, to develop an all-in-one bike dock that allows users to check out a bike using an app or membership card.Previous systems, including the 1.0 and 2.0 Docks, required the user to walk to a kiosk to pay for and unlock the bike. The new product, called the 3.0 Dock, is designed to eliminate the need for the higher-cost, kiosk-based system and allow for easier installation or relocation of the dock. “It’s easier to deploy more of (the 3.0 Docks) at a lower cost, which is really important because there is not a lot of heavy funding behind these bike share systems,” said Caleb Sandvold, enterprise account manager for Mighty Touch. “The more cost effective they can be, the larger the footprint of the bike share programs.”
Fall 2017: Sandvold reaches out to Bublr Bikes, which operates BCycle in Milwaukee. Bublr introduces Sandvold to the BCycle team to gain an understanding of the Bublr bike share equipment, which includes the BCycle 2.0 docks and kiosk system.
Fall 2018: CTS and BCycle engage in initial project conversations regarding future options for a dock-based bikeshare with the goal of improving hardware efficiencies and reducing costs. Sean Pederson, BCycle director of product development, and Sandvold form a team and begin defining the project scope.
Early 2019: The team reviews customer feedback, defines goals and materials for the project, and begins co-engineering the hardware. “One challenge is creating something that’s very durable, both to withstand the elements of snow and rust-proofing them, but also physical wear,” Sandvold said.
Summer 2019: CTS and BCycle complete the initial engineering of the 3.0 Dock. Tooling is completed and the first 50 samples of the 3.0 Dock are underway for use in a pilot run.
CTS attends BCycle Customer Conference where the team introduces the 3.0 Dock to BCycle customers from across the country. The following month, the pilot program launches in Madison.
Early 2020: Pilot program moving to other Bcycle cities for further testing in second quarter 2020.