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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

Five Bike Share Trends to Watch in 2018

When I talk to people at events, I see how business models have changed over the last year. Bike Share operators are constantly challenged to keep up with the rapidly changing industry and offer better rider experiences to its users.

 

A big opportunity for operators in 2018 is in how Bike Share Schemes are managed. It will not be enough to just supply the bikes, questions will be asked about how operators cater to the local market needs.

 

Intelligent operations will be at the heart of Bike Share Schemes in 2018 with operators focused on delivering the best experience to compete in the highly saturated market.

 

As Bike Share continues to grow across the globe, I see the following trends changing the marketplace:

 

  1. Rise in App-Based & Dockless Bike Share Models

App-based Bike Share Schemes are being deployed in more markets globally. In many urban cities, you now have access to free-floating bikes that can be picked up and dropped off virtually anywhere. In 2018, we will see an increase in cities adopting these schemes in an effort to reduce the strain on existing transport infrastructure and facilitate the move from personal vehicles.

 

  1. Growth of Multi-Operator Environments

Multi-operator environments are not new. We are already seeing many cities where more than one operator is running a scheme. Throughout 2018, this is likely to grow to more cities around the world and operators will be asked to deliver an optimised Bike Share Scheme to keep up with the competition. Cities will also need assuring that resources will be better managed to avoid bikes being damaged or left in unsuitable places.

 

  1. Optimised Redistribution with New Technology & Incentives

The growth in Bike Share Schemes and multi-operator environments will be the driving force for better redistribution. Operators will be challenged to offer schemes that work well and is not a nuisance to cities or its citizens. Fortunately, new technology such as geo-fencing and incentives including financial rewards will drive better rebalancing processes. From the events I’ve been to, it’s clear that operators are looking to do more to improve their redistribution efforts.

 

  1. Increased Bike Share Regulations

Bike Share operators have welcomed the prospect of more regulations. While some may hinder current operations, most regulations will help Bike Share Schemes to thrive. It will guide operators as to what is required and enable them to grow into new markets much easier.

 

  1. Driving Intelligent Bike Share Scheme Operations

In 2018, operators will look towards better ways to manage their schemes and to grow their ridership. We see growth in technology such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) simplifying the management process. It enables operators to sort through vast amounts of data to gain actionable insights that has a direct impact on their operation. That kind of information makes management of Bike Share Schemes simple and efficient.

 

In 2018, we will continue to see disruption in all parts of Bike Share and the wider transportation industry. It will impact how operators do business. How these schemes are managed will still be the main focus for many cities and its citizens.

 

Users expect transportation to be as simple and efficient as the other services they consume on a day-to-day basis. That puts the pressure on operators to deliver a well-run Bike Share Scheme.

 

An optimised scheme enables users to rely on its services and use it regularly. It reduces unnecessary costs and complications for operators while driving profits to their business.

 

Fortunately, I see new technology, incentives and processes enabling operators to transform their current business model.

 

At Stage Intelligence, we combine citywide data with AI technology to deliver real value to Bike Share Scheme operators. Our BICO platform makes it easy for operators to simplify their operations and deliver Bike Share Schemes that works for both cities and the users.

 

To find out more about how Stage Intelligence is transforming Bike Share Schemes around the world with AI technology, please contact  tom.nutley@stageintelligence.co.uk

 

Increasing Rider Satisfaction with Artificial Intelligence

Big data and Artificial Intelligence (AI) provide a valuable opportunity for growth to Bike Share Schemes that have been deployed and developed across the six continents. Both schemes that are in the planning stages and ones that have already been deployed can benefit from leveraging big data and AI

Operators looking to drive growth to their schemes need AI to sort through vast amounts of data. If you combine millions of different criteria across a large urban area, the sheer number of possibilities can be overwhelming.

Every element matters and can influence where bikes are dropped and congestion occurs. In the worst-case scenarios, a rider borrows a bike but can’t find a dock and must travel away from their destination to drop it off and when they return there are no bikes remaining.

Data and AI is key to avoiding this situation. It ensures rider satisfaction by predicting demand in popular areas and managing supply. Only with data and AI technology can Bike Share Schemes look to improve existing processes, operations and logistics, and drive growth to their operations.

Going forward, data needs to be more accessible to operators. Open data allows Bike Share Scheme operators to deliver a transport solution that works for all. Data ensures bikes are available when and where it’s needed to support the growth of Bike Share Scheme deployments around the world.

Regulations such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will still be paramount in the push for the openness of data. Cities, operators and all others involved have a duty to follow secure practices and take necessary steps in protecting user information.

Data and AI are ready to help operators to adapt and grow their schemes while refining and simplifying how they manage distribution.

For operators, getting started is simple:

  1. Evaluate long and short-term goals and growth objectives
  2. Explore what AI-based management platforms are available
  3. Look at what open data, shared data and Smart City initiative have been launched or are being developed locally
  4. Collaborate with AI experts and begin the journey towards smarter and more efficient Bike Share Schemes

To find out more about how operators can grow their Bike Share Schemes, read our full whitepaper on ‘How to Grow a Smart City Bike Share Scheme’.

Artificial Intelligence for Modern Transport Operators

With an AI-based management platform, transport operators benefit from utilising a variety of data sources. For Bike Share Schemes, the platform can give insights as to where bikes are required and instantly inform distribution trucks about where bikes need to be picked up and dropped off. When information is being processed instantly and communicated to drivers, there is no lag between new demand emerging and that demand being served.

The value of AI is its ability to process vasts amount of data across a Smart City and make it useful for operators. Citizens get the resources they need and that supports the long-term sustainable growth of public transport.

As a form of modern transport, AI platforms simplify the management of Bike Share Schemes and deliver unique benefits to operators:

 

User Satisfaction

Increased user satisfaction by ensuring bikes and docking points are available when and where required

 

Cost Reductions

Improved operational efficiency and reduced requirement of operational resources

 

Remove Unnecessary Processes

Move away from traditional schedule or dispatch-based approaches and eliminate wasted journeys

 

New Visibility

Real-time truck locations, colour coded station status and station clustering as well as access to advanced analytics and actionable reports via a single dashboard

 

Increased Autonomy

Drivers receive direct communications often via a mobile app, allowing them to work independently of each other and the back office with less wasted time

 

Greater Control

Autonomous operation of a Bike Share Scheme that reflects real time conditions, offers consistent delivery instruction and a detailed overview of the scheme

 

Scenario Simulation

The simulation engine in such management platforms offers the ability to see responses to “what if” scenarios, allowing improved and more efficient resource planning

 

Scale Up

Increase the size of a Bike Share Scheme without the need to simultaneously increase available resource to maintain operation levels

 

The demand for public transport is growing with more citizens turning to Bike Share Schemes as a viable mode of transport. In a growing and competitive Bike Share market, AI could be the key to success for many operators. It has already proven its value to some of the largest schemes in the world and will continue to be at the heart of modern transportation in the future.

 

To find out more about the advantages of utilising AI in transportation read our full whitepaper on ‘How to Grow a Smart City Bike Share Scheme’.

Solving Distribution Challenges in Bike Share Schemes

Effective distribution, in some of the best Bike Share Schemes, require immense amounts of citywide data to be captured, processed and used. Increasingly, schemes around the world are using city data to not only optimise its redistribution but to also show complete visibility to its users as to where the bikes are on its system map.

It’s how Bike Share Schemes use this data that drives value for operators, riders and cities. Bike Share Scheme operators are often familiar with rider statistics and patterns but the challenge is to use this data to accelerate growth within a scheme.

Tracking growth and stimulating growth are often two very different things. At the heart of new growth is rider experience. Bike Share Schemes are challenged to offer a consistent rider experience across a city while ensuring that using a Bike Share Scheme is easy, convenient and enjoyable for the rider. A positive and consistent Bike Share Scheme begins and ends with two questions:

 

  1. “Can I get a bike where I want one?”
  2. “Can I dock my bike at the end of my journey?”

 

If a Bike Share Scheme can guarantee these two things, it is likely that a rider will have a positive riding experience. When a rider can borrow a bike and dock it, they are more likely to use the scheme again and make it part of their routine.

That’s good for the Bike Share Scheme as it will help to grow overall ridership and new people will experience the city using shared bikes. A Bike Share Scheme with an active and growing ridership is able to invest and expand its schemes.

The data available in a city can be used to ensure that riders can access bikes and docks where and when they want them. Different days of the week, weather, events, seasons, local conditions and scenarios, and a whole range of criteria can shape how a Bike Share Scheme is used.

On a rare rainy day in Los Angeles, people may not cycle at all. In Amsterdam, there may only be a slight variance in usage patterns. At the same time, different events can be connected like a sunny day in a city, matched with a train drivers strike and major sporting event being held in one area of the city. All of these factors can influence how a scheme is functioning and where more or less bikes are needed.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) can be an excellent tool for simplifying Bike Share Scheme operations while using the power of data to drive decision making. AI can process a variety of data both historically and in real-time
to deliver actionable insights for Bike Share Scheme operators. Operators gain visibility into all of the criteria shaping a cityscape and benefit from useful insights to optimise bike distribution to match changing conditions.

AI accelerates how decisions are made by operators while taking the guess work out of bike distribution. The AI technology can predict peak times up to 12 hours in advance, enabling operators to manage supply and meet requirements in those areas. This ultimately leads to bikes and docks being available and riders getting a better Bike Share experience.

 

To find out more about the role data and AI has on a Bike Share Scheme, read our full whitepaper on ‘How to Grow a Smart City Bike Share Scheme’

 

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’.