Freiker is a nonprofit company based in Boulder, Colorado. It pioneered the concept of using RFID technology and incentives to encourage kids to bike or walk to school. They currently have programs in 11 schools in 4 states. Steve Norman of Freiker says, ???The Freiker/Dero ZAP system does the counting and the prizes provide the motivation???. That's the RFID tag. With the tag, you walk under the Zap unit which counts you and beeps. Hans Steege, co-owner of local Dero Bike Racks and maker of the Zap says "the solar powered, wifi-connected system, transmits the data securely to a website that tabulates the trips for each child. Schools will typically have some type of reward program in place that recognizes children for participating." USI Wireless donated the Wi-Fi connection. Dero Bike Rack Company, located in Seward Neighborhood, donated a Zap to Seward Montessori. This video shows the process. Freiker started the program in 2006 in Colorado. They plan on adding systems this year in Eugene, OR and Madison, WI. Steve Sanders, the University of Minnesota Bike Coordinator, says that the U of MN is also very interested in an RFID tracking system for staff and faculty bike commuters and plans on installing 20 units around the campus. (The U is in the process of selecting the vendor.) More linksEarly yesterday morning I biked over to Seward Montessori School for the Dero/Freiker/Zap (frequent+biker, rhymes with "hiker") event.
My Photo set from the event on Flickr
Dero's blog post with video from the Fox 9 coverage
Story (video) from San Francisco
Story (video) from Denver