2018 was the year where Bike Sharing and Micro-Mobility showed its potential to change urban spaces and the transportation industry as a whole. Docked or dockless Bikes, e-Bikes, scooters, e-scooters and a whole range of new mobility options have become the most exciting and innovative sector in transportation.
If we go back 15 years, there were just four Bike Sharing Schemes. In 2018, there were more than 1,600 globally, according to Bike Sharing consultancy MetroBike. These schemes account for 18.2 million public-use bikes available around the world, nearly double the number from four years ago.
Growth is expected to remain in double digits for the next eight years at least. Research and Markets expects global Bike-Sharing market to grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 12.5% between 2018 and 2026.
At the same time, schemes are diversifying and going beyond traditional Bike Share models. In the spring of 2018, multiple US cities started facilitating electric scooter services, which lead to 3.6% of people claiming to use the sharing-scheme. An impressive statistic, considering the market was only made available to the public less than 12 months previously.
Inside a Populus report – The Micro-Mobility Revolution – they highlighted that 70% of their respondents viewed electric scooters as a positive addition to urban areas – predominantly as they’re more convenient for shorter journeys, compliment public transport and extend their choices of transport as a whole.
In April, we saw the beginning of convergence between mobility platforms with Uber’s acquisition of Jump Bikes in April. Uber signalled it would be adding additional ways to move around your city directly from the Uber app. It has recognised the value of micro-mobility to its future and is prepared to spend capital and resource to get in the game.
The market is changing fast and that’s exciting but it hasn’t all been good news.
In China, a dockless Bike Sharing system was launched that charged cyclists just pennies for a half-an-hour ride. However, the initiative out-grew its demand, meaning there were too many bikes and not enough riders. The bikes were dumped – in the streets, sometimes in rivers – and that lead to them being laid to rest in ‘bike cemeteries”.
In May 2018, the city of San Francisco temporarily banned electric scooters after residents complained of congested streets and illegal parking. The city received 1,900 complaints about the new vehicles. In August, San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency announced Scoot and Skip as the winners of its e-scooter pilot sweepstakes, bringing e-scooters back to the city.
Across the Micro-Mobility industry, growth is being matched with experimentation and a healthy skepticism from local authorities. As in any rapidly evolving market, we are going to see more successes and failures in the next 12 months with efficient and consistent scheme management being a common challenge. No matter what type of scheme is being operated, end users need an optimised experience and operators need an efficient way to manage them.
As the market grows in complexity, Stage Intelligence uses its BICO AI optimisation platform to solve these challenges and simplify how schemes are managed. As our industry goes to a new level, we’re taking scheme management to new places with Artificial Intelligence.
Please get in touch if you’d like to know more about how we can help you get the most out of your Bike Sharing Scheme: firstname.lastname@example.org