SOBI or Social Bicycles is a bike sharing program that officially launches today in Hoboken. SOBI is a 6 month pilot project and will only feature 25 shared bicycles while bicycle rental partner Bike and Roll will operate a traditional bike rental operation on the waterfront near Pier A.
SOBI will operate differently than the current bike sharing model of docking stations that Citi Bike uses. SOBI can be described as a technological refinement of the Deutsche Bahn Call-A-Bike program, they can be locked anywhere within the City although there will be five designated hub locations that users will be encouraged to return their bikes to make them easier to manage.
Social Bicycles Demo from Social Bicycles on Vimeo.
If you live, work or frequently visit Hoboken you can sign up for SOBI here. The cost for enrollment is $15 a month and that gives you 60 free minutes a day. Anything over 60 minutes will cost you $10 per hour. There is also a required 30 minute orientation to familiarize participants with this unique technology. The price point seems to be designed to discourage visitors from using SOBI instead of renting a bike. Bike and Roll will be charging $10 an hour or $34 a day and will be open from 10AM - 5PM.
Compared to the behomoth of Citi Bikes SOBI is a pint sized cousin. However if made permanent the program will expand to 300 bikes, comparable to bike share operations in larger cities such as Chattanooga TN and Fort Lauderdale FL.