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MetroBike Wayfinding

Skills Used: Industrial Design, User Research, Form Development 3D Printing, SolidWorks, Rhino, SketchBook Pro, Photoshop, Keyshot

MetroBike is the end-result of my senior thesis at Wentworth Institute of Technology. MetroBike is a low cost, visual way-finding tool for the city cyclist. MetroBike is designed to be accessible for commuters who use bike share programs.

Research & User Persona's

Through six months of research, I discovered that there are two distinct user types of bike share programs. The first user type is the annual bike share user who uses the program year-round and have a yearly membership. The second user type is the day pass bike share user. The day pass bike share user rides in the city on an infrequent basis and has little knowledge of the city layout. Current bike share programs like Hubway already tailor to these two user groups.  These bike share programs provide key fobs to their year-round members. The fobs store personal data allowing a fast check-out process at the bike kiosk.  For the day pass bike share user they provide a one-time use receipt that has a 5-digit pin to check-out at the bike kiosk. With this realization I set out to design a wayfinding program that utilized the key fob and the check-out receipt. 


User Persona 01 // Annual User

Annual bike share users often live in the city and have a good understanding of the city’s layout. Typically they are independent and don’t need much navigation guidance. However, there are times when they need to get to a new location on the fly and need get there in a safe and timely fashion. With this knowledge, I challenged myself to add this valuable function to the key fob.


User Persona 02 // Day Pass User

Unlike annual members, day pass bike-share users often have little knowledge of the city’s layout and need more guidance.  Day pass share users typically use bike share programs to discover the city on the weekends.  With an understanding for this user groups unmet need, I set out to add wayfinding to the route ticket. 


Ideation began by exploring all of the existing bike components and accessories on the market. I focused on those which held the most potential to integrate navigation technology for the cyclist.

Sketch Ideation


After ideation, I focused on the handlebar and stem area of the bike. These components allow cyclists to easily look down at the directions without taking their eyes completely off the road.



For the final direction I chose to combine features of concepts one and three. I chose to combine these concepts because it created a wayfinding tool that fulfilled the need of the two distinct user groups.

Final Direction

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Route Legend

The route legend is the foundation of MetroBike. Each route is given a specific color and number which allows riders to easily navigate the network of routes.

Route Signs

Route signs physically map out the route legend and are designed for high-visibility and mount to the top of street signs.

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Bike Stem

The customized bike stem accommodates both the key fob for the annual user and a printed ticket for the day pass user.


Navigating With the Ticket

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Break Down of the Route Ticket

The printed ticket uses the same colored and numbered routes that are marked out on the street signs. The directions on the card are broken into segmented color sections to break down and simplify the routes taken to get to the destination.

Begin trip on
Route 2 blue
Landsdowne Street

Turn left on Ipswich Street to Route 2 blue

Left on Boylston Street to 
Route 6 Red

Right on Copley Square
To Route 3  orange

Route Ticket

Route tickets are printed from the bike-share kiosk after the rider has selected their starting and ending points.


Route Card

Once the user picks their start and end destinations  the kiosk will print out a route card that they will be able to reference as they ride to get to their final location.


Route Card on Bike Stem

To attach the route ticket to the stem, user's simply push down on the spring loaded button located at the front of the stem and slide the card in from the side. The spring loaded button eliminates the chances of the card from falling off while riding.

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User Interface

Colored areas on the left and right sides alert the rider of an upcoming turn. Route connections on the right will appear on the right side of the fob. Route connections on the left will appear on the left side of the fob.

Navigating With the Key Fob

Begin trip on
Route 2 blue
Landsdowne Street

Turn left on Ipswich Street to continue  to Route 2 blue

Left on Boylston Street to 
Route 6 Red

Right on Copley Square
To Route 3 orange

Key Fob

Key fobs are made for annual members. Users can upload routes from the kiosk or any other Bluetooth enabled device.


Key Fob and Kiosk

Key fob users upload their route by using the bike-share kiosk's and tap their fob against the kiosk to complete the upload.


Key Fob on Bike Stem

To attach the key fob to the stem users simply push down and twist the fob the fob to right. This provides a secure connection so the fob stay's in place while riding. 

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© 2024 Greg Howe

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