The JCDecaux Velib scheme in Paris uses an electronic kiosk for renting out the bicycles. This is lower technology and less flexible than the DB system "call-a-bike" I observed while bicycling around Berlin. With DB (the German national railway company) there are electronics on each individual bike, so you can leave it anywhere, rather than having to check it back into an electronic kiosk.
It may be that something in between the JCDecaux and DB systems would suit Sydney. Perhaps like the GoGet car share scheme would work. GoGet equip their cars with electronics to allow car sharing and have designated car collection points in Sydney. But there are no electronics in the collection points, just signs and only limited electronics in the cars. Instead you book via the Internet. This way GoGet do not need to install complex roadside equipment and maintain it.
For bicycles, it may be possible to set up collection points with a sign and bicycle rack. Each bicycle would be equipped with limited electronics to allow rental. The bookings would be done via the Internet or a mobile phone. If it can be assumed that the hirer has a smart phone, then very little electronics is needed on the bicycle.
The University of Sydney is considering establishing a bike hire scheme to help staff and students get around campus and to demonstrate our genuine commitment to sustainability and reducing our environmental footprint.
Thank you for offering to take this short survey, the information you provide will help us to establish an effective bike hire scheme.
While you will need to provide your contact details if you wish to be entered into the draw to win a 32gb iPod Touch PLUS an iTunes pre-paid card with $100 credit, none of your answers will be used to identify you. ...
From: Survey, David Carr, Director, Card Services, Unviersity of Sydney, 2009