Dublin launched a bike sharing scheme on Sept. 15. Sponsored by French ad giant JC Decaux, locals can pick up the bikes around town, then leave them at one of 40 stations. The first half hour is free.
The trouble? Firm Fusio thought it’d be nice to have an iPhone app, available gratis on iTunes, telling would-be cyclists which stations had bikes available and how many. The Dublinbikes app used a mashup of Google Maps and data from the official Dublinbikes Website.
JC Decaux sent a nastygram to Fusio threatening legal action, and the App was pulled Sept. 23 from iTunes.
The story sounds depressingly similar to StationStops, the app that ran into trouble with NY transport authorities by publishing available public schedules.
It may not be over yet, however: politician Paschal Donohoe, a declared iPhone user, called on Dublin City Council to intervene.
“The new bike scheme will depend on bikes being available, when and where people need them,” he said in a statement on his website. “A new application for iPhones provided this up-to-the minute information on where the bikes were located.”
“We should be encouraging innovation for the sake of the economy, not stamping it out.”
In the meantime, there are already a couple of mobile web alternatives to the killed bike sharing app.
Via Wap Review