Umbrella share program aims to keep New Yorkers dry

Like Zipcar and Citi Bike before it, 'brellaBox wants to be to be New York City's newest share program — only this time for umbrellas. Credit: Stan Honda/Getty Images
Like Zipcar and Citi Bike before it, ‘brellaBox wants to be to be New York City’s newest share program — only this time for umbrellas. The creators hope to launch by 2015.
Credit: Stan Honda/Getty Images

For many New Yorkers, the only thing worse than carrying an umbrella is forgetting to bring one.

Those black, plastic umbrellas often tossed in trash bins or strewn about in city gutters might be a thing of a the past if the minds behind ‘brellaBox have their way.

Like Zipcar and Citi Bike before it, ‘brellaBox wants to be to be New York City’s newest share program, offering pedestrians caught in wet weather rentable umbrellas from boxes placed around town.

Customers would be able to swipe their card or use mobile technology to rent a bright, green-hued umbrella from any of the boxes, priced at $2.50 for 12 hour — versus the average $5 per bodega or street stand umbrella.

Unlike flimsier parasols, ‘brellaBox says its product would be more durable and higher quality, so much so that customers could also purchase one from the boxes for $15.

The project’s creators told the Wall Street Journal that ‘brellaBox is still in the early stages. They are still on the lookout for advertising partners, but hope to launch a small pilot program likely for June and a potential citywide rollout in 2015.

Follow Chester Jesus Soria on Twitter @chestersoria


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