The Big Apple will take the lead from Europe when New York company SoBi (Social Biking) will introduce a similar bike sharing system to that which exists in Dublin and several other European cities.

In most cities which offer the bike sharing system, customers simply collect their bikes at designated docking stations which are located at various points throughout the city. However the planned introduction of the system here in New York proposes a different technique.

The new scheme will offer a GPS system whereby customers can locate docked bicycles by using their smart phones. The user would find a bike and punch in an access code. When the cyclist is done they can leave the bike locked to a standard bike rack.

SoBi plans to start a test run in the fall with a small number of bikes.

At home in Ireland the Dublin Bike Scheme introduced by Dublin City Council almost a year ago has been a huge success. The original target was to sign up 2,000 members in the first year but so far a whooping 37,000 Dubliners have availed of the system.