According to a new market research report from the IoT analyst firm Berg Insight, the number of deployed vehicles in bikesharing schemes worldwide is forecast to grow from 23.2 million in 2019 to reach 35.8 million in 2024.
Bikesharing is a decentralised bicycle rental service, usually focusing on short term rentals that supplements other modes of transport including walking and public transport. Traditionally, most bikesharing operators have used station-based networks operated through public-private partnerships. This operational model requires members to pick up and return the vehicle at any designated station within a city.
In Europe and North America, station-based bikesharing is the most popular operating model. Another model that is rapidly gaining in popularity is free floating services, which enables members to pick up and drop off vehicles anywhere within a designated area. Free floating bikesharing has become the most common bikesharing service in terms of deployed vehicles.
There are hundreds of commercial bikesharing service providers worldwide. “Prominent bikesharing operators include Hellobike, Meituan Bike, JUMP (owned by Uber), Motivate (owned by Lyft), JCDecaux, Donkey Republic and Nextbike,” says Martin Svegander, senior analyst at Berg Insight.
The vehicles used in bikesharing schemes are usually robust to endure more frequent usage than privately-owned bicycles. In addition, both free floating and station-based operators have in the past year launched bikesharing schemes comprising electric pedal-assisted bikes (e-bikes) to widen the service area and attract new customer segments. There are now a handful companies on the market specialising in bikesharing technology.
“Examples of solution providers include companies such as Bewegen Technologies, Conneqtech, Omni, PBSC Urban Solutions, Sitael, Smoove, SoftTech Interactive Solutions and Youon Bike Technologies,” continues, Svegander. These companies provide complete solutions including telematics hardware solutions, user identification and bike locks, information kiosks as well as fleet management platforms and mobile apps. Over time, features like yield management using dynamic pricing will be needed to support evolving services and increasingly complex partnerships with other mobility service providers.
Svegander adds, “A growing share of bikesharing operators will adopt dedicated software platforms from specialised third-party vendors in the future, rather than relying on systems developed in-house.” Software companies specialising in shared micromobility services that serve both bikesharing and scootersharing services include Joyride, Urban Sharing, ElectricFeel and Wunder Mobility.
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