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College Startup Re-Imagines Bike Sharing ViaCycle set out to design a GPS-enabled, stationless bike-share system.

By Marty Jerome

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Easy rider: Kyle Azevedo of viaCycle.
Easy rider: Kyle Azevedo of viaCycle.
Photo© Natalie Brasington

From D.C. to Minneapolis to Montreal, there are at least 15 self-service municipal bike-sharing operations in North America. Anyone can use them to rent a bike from a kiosk and drop it off at another one.

It's a great idea, to be sure. But are these services profitable? "Probably not," says Robbie Webber, senior associate at State Smart Transportation Initiative in Madison, Wis. Could they be? "Absolutely," she says. "It's just that it's such a new concept in the United States, and one that's very expensive to start up."