Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Bubi rounds up 1,000 guinea pigs in 1 hour

I just got tired of posting pics of Bubi bikes.
The internal testing phase for Bubi is finally over and now begins the public trial.
City transport company BKK has rounded up 1,000 volunteers for testing, and on Thursday, they will start a two-week trial to see how the system performs in real-world conditions with a large base of clients.

After the trial, each volunteer user will be asked to fill out an evaluation questionnaire, with results feeding into a final refinements of the system before it opens to the wider public.
BKK apparently had an easy time identifying volunteers. It posted an announcement promising a free six-month Bubi pass (value of about EUR 30) to anyone who would take part. The requirements were that they use the system at least 10 times during a two-week trial, and follow through with the evaluation.

Electronic registration opened Monday morning at http://molbubi.bkk.hu/ and within one hour BKK had their thousand guinea pigs.

Not surprising, as the bikes have been out on the streets since the first week of April, while usage has been restricted to a small number of handpicked volunteers in an internal test. I've followed the process quite closely and therefore understood that the system hadn't officially opened yet. But I've heard from several friends and acquaintances who had attempted to check out Bubi bikes, and then walked away frustrated thinking they simply didn't correctly interpret the instructions on the Bubi terminals. This goes down to BKK's perplexing policy of not communicating during the trial phase. I can only assume it was because the organisation's leadership was embarrassed about the system's problems.

As was widely reported, Bubi's registration and check-out system had a number of bugs, and the envisioned "brief testing period" stretched out more than three months.

According to the kerekagy blog, T-Systems, the lead partner in the consortium that's implementing Bubi, is liable for a HUF 120 million penalty for the system's tardy launch.

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