The biggest challenge in Bike Share Schemes is to provide an optimised service each and every time. Operators that choose schedule-based distribution are often limited in their rebalancing efforts and are not efficiently serving the local rider demand. That impacts ridership and rider experience as a whole.
It’s up to the operators to ensure they have a simple and optimised management process that’s tailored to the cities and the riders. It enables them to offer better services, build stronger ridership and reduce operational costs. Yet many operators still choose to carry out schedule-based redistribution.
Schedule-based distribution means drivers have pre-set information or a schedule of how many bikes to pick-up and drop-off and at what locations. The schedule is created irrespective of the city it’s operating in or its specific needs. This can often mean that by the time the first job is completed the whole schedule could be wrong.
Poor rebalancing and management processes can also add to the growing situation of bikes being left as a nuisance to cities and its citizens. Singapore has seen first-hand the impact of poorly managed resources that have a huge effect on the day-to-day lives of its residents.
To combat indiscriminate bike parking, The Land Transport Authority (LTA) in Singapore passed a legislation earlier this year aimed at tackling this issue for over 100,000 bikes in the area. Since then it has introduced several new measures including reduced fleet size and Bike Share licences to ensure operators are better managing their schemes.
It is now more important than ever to have a smart management process that takes the guess work away from Bike Share redistribution.
Here’s four reasons why schedule-based redistribution doesn’t work for modern Bike Share Schemes:
- Dynamic Nature of the City
Cities globally are different from one another. They all have different population, city topography, transport hubs and many other factors that make each and every city unique. A schedule that works well in one city could completely fail in another.
- Each Day is Different
The day itself plays a huge role in Bike Share ridership. When you combine the changing weather, major city events, transport strikes and a number of other things, the demand for Bike Share Schemes are likely to fluctuate on a daily basis.
- Evolving Rider Behaviour
Some riders may take a bike out every morning and every evening to commute between work and home. That makes it predictable and easy to manage. In reality, for many riders their behaviour is constantly changing. Increase in tourists or a rise in public transportation services could affect the demand for bikes in different areas.
- Inefficient Use of Staff
What we see every day with schedule-based distribution is that drivers are going from one location to another with no real insights. They often go to a docking station that is expected to be empty and find that it is full. This is huge waste of time, money and resources.
For modern Bike Share Schemes, scheduled-based redistribution doesn’t work. There are too many variables that make schedule-based redistribution time-consuming and inefficient. Operators instead need simpler and smarter processes that can predict demand and manage resources with accuracy.
At Stage Intelligence, we use four weeks of prior ridership data to track rider behaviour and mange redistribution effectively. We predict replenishment values up to 12 hours in advance to enable operators to make quick decision and move quickly to win new riders.
Please get in touch if you’d like to find out how we use data and AI to transform Bike Share redistribution: tom.nutley(@)stageintelligence.co.uk