Being in Paris, I can’t help but love the Velibs. These bikes are meant to be shared by all, with docking stations scattered across Paris so that there is always a bike near you, or a place to drop them off when you require it. The one downfall of the Velib is that you need the stations for pick up and drop off, which besides the upfront cost of construction, also require electricity, and you the consumer can never be sure there will be a bike available at your local depot, or a place to drop your current bike off when you are finished.
That’s where Social Bicycles has made some vast improvements on the system. Each bike is outfitted with a GPS transmitter that is activated when the bike is locked up and not in use. You find the bike by logging on with your iphone. Billing and such can now all be automatic, and in theory the company could keep much better records of how much use a particular bike gets used (and say when to apply some oil, or replace the tires). When you’re done riding, you simply lock it up to the nearest bike rack, fence or lamp post. Pure genius.
source Social Bicycles