Are Bike Share Scheme Operators Ready for the GDPR Regulation?

The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a European privacy law that was approved by the European Commission in 2016. It will apply to all EU member states from 25th May 2018 and replace the current Data Protection Act 1998.

 

Among other things, the GDPR considers how organisations collect, use, store and manage personal data of EU citizens. Data collectors will be required to process personal data lawfully, transparently and for a specific purpose.

 

For Bike Share Schemes, this will have a significant impact on their operations across Europe. Its business model relies on collecting and using vast amounts of personal data such as names, addresses and credit card details to offer bike sharing services to its users.

 

Many believe it’s the data mining aspect of Bike Sharing that has attracted billions in investment. During 2017, market leaders Mobike and ofo announced that it secured $600 million and $700 million in funding respectively.

 

As GDPR is implemented across the EU, it is likely to impact both the operators and the investors as well. It will limit what organisations are able to do with the data whilst pushing operators to better align their data collection and handling processes.

 

Here’s some of the main principles of GDPR that we see impacting Bike Share operators:

 

  • Wider Scope of the regulation

GDPR applies to all organisations that operate in the EU or handle personal data of EU citizens no matter where the organisation operates. It also has a broader scope of the definition for personal data and now includes data such as IP addresses, behavioural data, location data, and financial information.

 

  • Increased Individual Rights

Individuals have new rights under the GDPR including the right to access the data, right to rectify incorrect information, right to restrict processing, right to portability and right to object certain uses of data.

 

  • Stricter Consent

Consent is one of the main aspects of GDPR. It is important to obtain explicit consent from individuals for distinct purposes with a proof of record stating when and how consent was given. GDPR does allow for ‘soft’ opt-in which enables organisation to send marketing messages for similar products or services as long as individuals are given the opportunity to opt-out at any time.

 

  • Transparent Processing

Individuals can request how their information is processed. Operators need to clarify the purpose in which the data was collected and should ensure that the purpose is limited and the data collected is as minimised as possible.

 

Bike Share operators across the EU will need to ensure they comply with the new GDPR. We recommend reviewing the current consent and data management process in terms of how operators seek, record and manage consent and whether it meets the GDPR standard.

 

Operators should also consider appointing individuals to take responsibility for data protection compliances. In some cases, it may be necessary to have a Data Protection Officer (DPO) under the GDPR.

 

It is also important that all organisations that work on an operator’s behalf follows the stricter regulations. The GDPR applies to data processors as well as the data controllers when handling personal data.

 

At Stage Intelligence, we are experienced in handling personal data and ensuring that it meets the local and regional directives. Our partners around the world rely on us to manage information with the strictest confidence. We store and use data securely and our processes are optimised to support the growth of our partners.

 

To ensure all existing and new processes within your Bike Share operation meet the GDPR standard, we recommend consulting with GDPR lawyers and professionals.

 

To find out more about how Stage Intelligence can support your Bike Share Scheme with streamlined data management processes, please contact tom.nutley(@)stageintelligence.co.uk

Bike Share: The Foundation for Mobility as a Service

Bike Share Schemes can be the foundation for developing Mobility as a Service (MaaS) in an urban city. It has a proven model that supports the deployment of MaaS across many different areas.

 

MaaS integrates various forms of transport services into a single mobility solution. It combines a range of services from trains and buses to taxis and bike sharing to offer a tailor-made transport solution that connects you door-to-door.

 

Bike Share Schemes make it easier to facilitate the move towards MaaS. MaaS operators can take advantage of its large user base and learn from its management approach to drive efficiency beyond Bike Share.

 

We believe a well-run Bike Share Scheme is the foundation for MaaS models. It supports the move away from personally owned vehicles to modes of transportation that are just as effective and cost-efficient whilst better connecting existing transportation.

 

Research by DTimes and ofo has found that shared bikes have the ability to seamlessly interlink existing transport infrastructure. Bike Share Schemes make it easy for users to access other transport links as well get to their final destination.

 

When residents can rely on transportation services to fully connect them to where they need to go, they are likely to use the services again and on a regular basis. That can facilitate the move towards MaaS initiatives in the future.

 

We are seeing the growth of MaaS apps such as Whim in Helsinki that could soon be the norm for modern transport around the world. It provides the convenience of private vehicle travel without the need of ownership particularly when on average cars are parked for over 95% of the time.

 

For cities looking to adopt MaaS models and transform the culture of personal vehicles, simplifying and optimising Bike Share Schemes should be the first step. It makes the financial and convenience case for using public and private means of transport over own personal vehicles.

 

With MaaS, operators and city officials gain complete visibility across a cityscape. It provides a clear picture of its users and their transportation needs. Visibility can be matched with technology such as AI to optimise all journeys in the urban city.

 

At Stage Intelligence, we are leaders in Bike Share Scheme management and hold a track record of simplifying operations around the world using our AI technology. We combine data and AI to deliver actionable insights that makes the management of Bike Share simple and efficient for operators.

 

To find out more about how Stage Intelligence can optimise your Bike Share Schemes with its AI platform, please contact tom.nutley(@)stageintelligence.co.uk

E-bike Sharing

Delivering New Growth for Bike Share Schemes with E-Bikes

Electric bikes (e-bikes) have huge potential for Bike Share Schemes but it brings a new level of management challenges for operators. Over its manual counterpart, e-bikes need to be fully charged for each rider, every time and that requires efficient distribution.

 

E-bike is a pedal bicycle with an electric motor. It assists the rider with additional electric power whilst offering many of the same characteristics as traditional bicycles. Many e-bikes are legally classified as bicycles and subject to the same local laws.

 

E-bikes can be a great way to travel. It can reduce door-to-door time of commutes with a lot less effort and makes transport more accessible to the new or less-experienced cyclists. For operators, it delivers new opportunities to compete in the industry and win new riders.

 

In the recent CES 2018 event, we saw many operators reveal their plans to incorporate e-bikes. Limebike, Spin, Ford GoBikes and Social Bikes all announced the introduction of e-bikes within their operations. It marks the shift in the industry that caters to the end users and their Bike Sharing experience.

 

E-bikes are a convenient way to get from A to B but it is faced with challenges in the market that limit its growth. The perception of e-bikes as ‘cheating’, the added weight of the battery pack to cycles and the cost of purchasing and repairing one all affect e-bike adoption with the public.

 

Manual pedal bikes are also much cheaper and easier to purchase, build and maintain for operators. It makes it simple for operators to grow fast and grow far. It’s one of the reasons why we are seeing thousands of pedal bikes being launched globally and at such a rapid pace.

 

For operators, the key is to deliver a service that people will want to use regularly and e-bikes offer a solution that removes the limit on how and when riders can use the schemes.

 

One major concern I see is in how operators manage their e-bike schemes. The demand for e-bikes is likely to be higher than the current pedal Bike Sharing schemes. It will put pressure on operators to deliver each and every time.

 

E-bikes will also need to be charged at the end of the trip and ready to be used by the next rider. That requires seamless management of resources and expert understanding of the local market.

 

Bike Share operators will need to have a strong management process in place to not only handle the challenges of e-bike sharing but to also take full advantage of the many opportunities it looks to bring for operators. Operators will be required to match local demand with efficient redistribution to succeed in the market.

 

At Stage Intelligence, we are using our expertise in Bike Share management to address the challenges of e-bike sharing. We are incorporating new e-bike technology within the artificial intelligence platform. Our processes enable us to add new features and functionality to cater to the dynamic Bike Share market.

 

To find out more about how Stage Intelligence can support and simplify your Bike Share Scheme operations, please contact tom.nutley(@)stageintelligence.co.uk