|View of OMSI from the new charging station.|
|Weather-resistant outlet mounted to bike rack.|
|Secure off-bike charging.|
|Another potential ebike charging station.|
Upon hearing about the station, I was curious as to how well it would work in practice. Shortly thereafter, I found myself needing to make several stops downtown, and knew that the full round-trip distance was at the limit of my battery range. Unfortunately, I wasn't going to be at a single stop long enough to significantly recharge. So I opted to ride in on battery power, drop the charger and battery in a locker, and continue my errands - under solely my own power, and a little over 10 pounds lighter. Business concluded, I returned to the kiosk to a full charge, and an easy ride home. I will admit, though, I was initially disappointed at having to pay for parking (isn't that one of the advantages of a bike?), but the added security of the locker, I found, was well worth it.
So barring errands, what are some other usage models? In addition to my above trip, I could easily see this kiosk displacing driving downtown to see a show, for example, and a boon for waterfront festival-goers. Sure, you'd still have to walk or pedal a bit, but it will be lots easier than driving and parking. In fact, I've used it twice this week already, but in that time I haven't seen anyone else using it.