I was SOOOOO excited today! Why, you may ask?! Well, the sun was shining and I decided I would spend the afternoon down by the sea trying out the new bike sharing program here in Naples.
Like many cities around the world, Naples has jumped on to the bike sharing bandwagon. It is a great idea. The bike sharing here is just a bit different from similar services I’ve used before. This service is completely free! Many other bike sharing programs offer the first thirty minutes for free, then start charging from then on if the bike isn’t returned to a station. Instead, you have three times you can exceed the time limit a month-then your bike privileges are done-zo for that month.
Today I was ready to ride. (I previously downloaded the app and set up my account including my personal and credit card info.) I decide to grab my bike from the station in front of Castel Del’Ovo. I get the application going and type in the access code to set my bike free.
Fuori servizio. Out of order.
Okay, no big deal. I move on to the next bike and try that access code. Same deal. I try a third bike, but the same exact thing happens. Now comes the fun part. When I try to unlock the fourth bike, it says I can’t take out more than one bike at a time! What?!!? But I don’t have a bike out!
Not according to the Bike Sharing app. According to them, I took out bike number 048 and should be having a grand ol’ time. Naturally, I get a bit nervous. What happens if they think I took off with the bike? I did, after all, have to give my credit card number when setting up the account. I shot them an email or two voicing my concerns, always using the app. I concurrently was thinking up a snarky comment for an Instagram picture of ole 048.
Things got figured out after a few hours. (Which by the way, seem like a loooong time when there is a possible credit card issue at hand.) Still, my bike day got ruined.
Stay tuned for another post where I can hopefully have better things to say about Naples’ bike sharing program! It seems like a great idea, hopefully we just got off on the wrong foot. 🙂