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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’.

Bike Share Schemes Are Starting to Realise the Potential of AI

As Bike Share Schemes around the world become more popular, how we manage the resources such as bikes and docking stations defines the success and growth of such programs.

For Bike Share Schemes to truly be a solution to last mile problems, riders need bikes and docking stations to be available when and where they need them. It is up to the operators to ensure this happens every time.

But many operators fail to provide this basic level of service as they lack the actionable data and operations to manage the schemes effectively.

For a long time, the solution to ridership problems in Bike Share Schemes has been to supply the market with more bikes. In reality this does little to increase efficiency and often adds to the problem.

Now, Bike Share Scheme operators are seeing the value of data and AI in predicting demand and managing supply. Mobike, one of the start-ups in China, is beginning to use AI to manage how its Bike Share Schemes are run.

Mobike’s ‘Magic Cube’, uses data and AI to forecast supply and demand for its bike-rentals. In a fierce competition for market share, Mobike is seeing the value of using AI to simplify scheduling and operations of its scheme.

Mobike has also released its whitepaper outlining what Bike Share Schemes can do with citywide data. The report goes a long way in highlighting the potential for operators in collecting and using data.

The importance of data and AI is clear. For operators, the key is in not only collecting the data but also having a process that works with its systems and resources to drive growth and increase ridership.

In the future, we are going to see more operators turn to data and AI, especially since cities have the potential to collect and store vast amounts of valuable data. With actionable data, operators save money, cities aren’t cluttered with bikes and citizens can rely on a reliable Bike Share Scheme that they can use in their day-to-day lives.

At Stage Intelligence, we have been using Artificial Intelligence (AI) and self-organising algorithms to solve complex problems in Bike Share Schemes from the beginning. Our BICO solution is easily incorporated into existing platforms to simplify logistics and increase ridership.

To find out more about how Stage Intelligence can drive growth within your Bike Share Scheme, please contact: tom.nutley@stageintelligence.co.uk