Friday, August 30, 2013

cycleUshare is back...sort of

Greetings. We've been getting some queries related to the e-bikeshare on UTK campus along the lines of "what's going on with the system?". Those around campus might have noticed we shut down the system over the summer to reduce our maintenance requirements (when most of our registered users are gone) and to give us time to reflect on next steps. This project was conceived to meet a few objectives -- research, education, service, and technology creation. We were given a limited timeline to do this by the campus administration, a pilot test with a sunset date (last spring). We've met many of those objectives. We have a couple of journal articles in press, Casey Langford finished his dissertation using the e-bikeshare system as a platform that will create a couple of more journal articles, we've presented the research at (inter)national conferences, we've presented the technology to the public at many venues, we've worked to disseminate the technology to others who can replicate it. However, without approval from administrators and a clearly sustainable direction, we could not move forward aggressively on next steps, thus we've been quiet until now. We can officially say now that the UT administration has given us approval (last week) to continue operating the system for the sake of the research and all the other benefits that come from that. We are now in the process of assessing the relaunch strategy, working through new technology development and generating a sustainable funding stream for the system operation and research endeavors. As we move forward, we will give more information, but we intend to get the system back up and running this semester, hopefully while the weather is nice. If you are interested in using the system, click on the volunteer form and give us your information and we will contact you when we get the system back online. Thanks to the UT community and administration for supporting this endeavor.