The 'free' in FreeBike is about freedom. Freedom to go whenever and wherever you want. That type of freedom is essential, because going places means doing things: getting to work, getting the kids to school, running out for a bite to eat, riding around the neighborhood to get some fresh air, heading over to a friend's to get a hug after a long day.
It is important - super important - to note that the unscheduled outings are every bit as crucial as the scheduled ones. In fact, whether they are for fun or to take care of something unexpected that has popped up, unscheduled trips are often the most important trips of the day.
And that's where ebikes come in. If something comes up and you want to just head right out the door and go somewhere, there is nothing as useful as having an electric bike at hand. Hopping on is a breeze. Riding is a breeze. Parking is a breeze.
Just like a person with a car, if you have an electric bike you can go where you want without having to check a schedule. Unlike that person with a car though, you didn't have to cross your fingers that traffic wasn't going to be horrible, and you didn't have to hunt for a parking spot, and you didn't have to pay for parking. Oh, and you didn't have to dedicate a huge chunk of your day to earning enough to afford that car.
This type of freedom -- this ability to go where you want, when you want -- is something everyone craves. Car companies sure don't make ads of people sitting in traffic or working extra hours to afford auto insurance -- they make ads showing people hopping in their car and breezing around on open roads. Unfortunately for drivers, those ads show a fantasy, not reality.
And, if we're honest with ourselves, the need to check a transit schedule is one of the big bummers of riding mass transit. The answer to "Do you want to come over and hang out for awhile" shouldn't be "Let me see if the bus schedule will conveniently let me get there and back in a reasonable amount of time". Whether the bus is coming in a minute or an hour, it's not a good situation.
In short, when it comes to freedom of movement, schedules are no one's friend.
So, the next time you're thinking about helping yourself or others move around more smoothly, with more freedom, with more ability to take more trips more conveniently, remember: the only schedule anyone wants to be on is their own.
Letting people move on their own schedule, that's a big part of what the free in FreeBike is about.