7 Benefits of an AI-Optimised Bike Share Scheme for Smart Cities

Smart Cities that have active and growing Bike Share Schemes create urban environments that are healthier, with less congestion and better placed to manage growing populations.

In 2016, 1.7 billion people or 23% of the world’s population lived in a city with at least 1 million inhabitants, according to the United Nations. By 2030, that will grow to 27%. Urbanisation is continuing to grow and that puts strain on transportation networks.

Public Transport in its current state is already stretched and cities are often challenged to fund new projects. With optimised Bike Share Schemes, cities can encourage citizens to cycle and avoid crowded transport systems.

As more Smart City initiatives are deployed, cities become data-rich environments that can benefit Bike Share Schemes. The emergence of the Internet of Things (IoT) and a growing number of connected devices deployed across a city will only expand the potential of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Bike Share Schemes and transportation overall.

Expanding data sets managed with AI can deliver results that directly benefit riders and influence how a city functions and grows.

All cities can benefit from an AI-driven Bike Share Scheme but as smart technologies are rolled out widely, the depth of data will grow. Operators benefit from new and increasingly precise insights while riders will see Bike Share Schemes optimised in new ways.

With AI, operators can ensure a well-run Bike Share Scheme that offers:


A Cleaner Transport Option:

For cities to help tackle climate change and deliver a better environment for citizens to live in


Healthier and Happier Riders:

Through daily exercise


Effective First & Last Mile Solution:

Since it can be significantly cheaper and faster than other public transport options for short distances


Reduced Strain on Infrastructure:

As less people are using public transport that requires continuous upkeep and maintenance


More Investment in Cities:

With less need for maintenance and new projects, Smart Cities can use funding on other much needed transport infrastructure such as cycling lanes and incentives


Manage Rising Transport Demand:

With increasing urban-dwellers, cities can offer more transport options with a Bike Share Scheme to accommodate this rise


City’s Brand Image:

Can be shaped by a cycling culture, supporting tourism and other thriving economic industries


Bike Share Schemes are like no other modes of transport. It offers a viable transportation option to many crowded cities that deliver a range of benefits to both cities and its citizens.

To find out more about the benefits of Bike Share Schemes to operators, cities and citizens, read our full white paper on ‘How to Grow a Smart City Bike Share Scheme’.

How to Grow a Smart City Bike Share Scheme

Smart Cities offer an entire ecosystem of valuable and relevant data that Bike Share Scheme operators can use. Smart City data can be used to identify trends and provide actionable insights that can drive the growth of Bike Share Schemes.

These four questions about data hold key information that Bike Share Scheme operators can use to reshape their approach:

  • Who are they?
  • What is happening in the City?
  • Where are they going?
  • What are they saying?

Bike Share Scheme operators need to know not only who their riders are but also the potential of the market. Citywide census and records collect data on population and demographics as well as human behaviour that can be used to predict the future of such schemes for operators. Trends in demographics can be identifiers for areas of growth in specific markets.

Cities also offer the potential to track a range of real-time data from traffic to weather and major events. Understanding how areas are being used at different times of day, by different types of people, and in response to different events through real-time data, can be highly beneficial to operators. A dynamic scheme is the first step in providing mobility options that work for all.

How people move in urban cities is just as important as identifying who they are. Fortunately, cities have a way of capturing this data too. Mobile phones, parking sensors, congestion zones all yield data about how and when people are moving around the city. Transport for London (TFL), a body responsible for the cities transport system, can track passenger movements through the Oyster card. For Bike Share Scheme operators, this data allows them to provide resources that are better attuned to the rider’s needs.

In a more connected and social world, it is also much easier to find out what people are thinking.
As an example, sentiment analysis can be used to track attitudes and opinions on social media. Operators can use this data to see how people react, what they like and dislike as well identify any opportunities for improvement. Ridership is the key to success for Bike Share Schemes and insights on this data can go a long way in ensuring the satisfaction of riders.

The challenge for operators is in how this data is collected and managed. Smart Artificial Intelligence (AI) systems will make use of public data feeds and encrypt user information to ensure the security of data.

For Bike Share Schemes and other transportation networks, it is imperative that they comply with existing and soon-to-be implemented regulations on data collection, privacy and usage such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The EU GDPR replaces the Data Protection Directive 95/46/EC and was designed to harmonise data privacy laws across Europe, to protect and empower citizens and to reshape the way organisations approach data privacy.

To find out more about what data is available in Smart Cities, read our full white paper on ‘How to Grow a Smart City Bike Share Scheme’.