VeloCittà, the International Platform for Cities & Bike Share, has issued a position paper to compare the various options that cities have when dealing with bike sharing models.
Bike sharing started out with docking stations, supported by public subsidies and advertising revenues, which often were costly and prioritised central urban areas over peripheral ones, and large cities over smaller cities. In 2015, however, the free-floating model was introduced. This allowed free access to bikes with no need for costly infrastructure, but it soon ran into problems in places where it was not regulated. There is now also the geo fenced model with digital parking stations, which is more organised than the free-floating system and offers more flexibility than the docking station model.
An increasing number of operators today offer geo fenced systems, but for this to be successful, it needs the buy in and support of the city, as a well-planned bike sharing zone covering the entire city requires careful analyses and must set out clear terms and conditions with one or more operators. The city must also determine how bike sharing fits in with its current mobility strategy and plans. This would also prepare bike sharing for future interoperability schemes like MaaS.
Find out more about the different bike share models available to your city at the VeloCittà conference this Thursday in Rome, where cities and operators will present their experiences.