A bike sharing system intends to make a community share a fleet of bikes. Therefore, users do not have to own a bike, but everyone can use the fleet flexibly. Most existing bike sharing systems operate as economy-to-peer sharing, but there are also peer-to-peer bike sharing systems. In an economy-to peer sharing system, the operator owns the vehicles which he shares with his customers. Within the peer-to-peer bike sharing, users share their vehicles. For each bike sharing system, it is necessary to ensure the accessibility of the bikes and to manage the location and operation of the bikes. Extensions of the bike sharing system, such as to include electric bikes and thus charging stations are possible. .
Promoting sustainable private transport models
Promoting sustainable behavior
Reducing use of fossils in public transport
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The bike-sharing industry is steadily growing over the past years. IT-technologies and innovative business models ease the implementation of bike sharing systems. Roland Berger Strategy Consultants estimate the global market for bike-sharing to be worth between € 3.6 and € 5.3 billion by 2020. (BIKEeurope, 2015) The European bike-sharing market, in particular, is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 9.4 % during 2015–2025, from 139,090 bikes in 2015 to more than 340,000 bikes by 2025. The number of users is expected to more than double by 2025. (Forst and Sullivan, 2016)
Within the currently implemented bike sharing systems, there are different revenue models. Some public bike sharing systems are implemented with a non-profit strategy. These usually intend to affect the consumers’ behaviour. The government, transport agencies, universities or not-for-profit organisations typically implement such non-profit bike sharing systems. Implementations of a profitable business model are applied by advertising companies or by companies who intend to gain profit by the implementation itself. Advertising companies aim to take advantage of the visibility of the bikes in the city and the user community. However, for-profit companies gain a financial benefit from the bike sharing system itself and its fees. (Elias, 2017)
The expenses of a bike sharing system consist of relatively high investment costs for the fleet of bikes and rather low variable costs. Especially the station installation accounts for about 70% of fixed costs. Redistribution cost is an important variable cost component and accounts for almost 30% of operating costs. The following graphic gives an overview of the different emerging costs and a price range for each of these costs. (Forst and Sullivan, 2016)
Government bodies often fund Bike-sharing systems in Europe. Over the next five years, cycling will be increasingly prioritised at the national and regional level. By 2020, close to $1,354.9 million is set to be invested in cycling programmes, cycling infrastructure, and the cycling industry. France as the biggest market for bike-sharing in Europe, for example, fund the industry with $219.6 million in the period 2014-2020. Besides public funding, public transport agencies, and advertisement companies, the European Commission also has a budget of $1.12 trillion for 2014 to 2020, of which only $669.4 million has been allocated to cycling. (Forst and Sullivan, 2016)
Existing cycling ways ease the usage of bikes and therefore support the implementation of bike-sharing systems. But in some cities where bike-sharing systems were implemented so far, the increased bike usage made the municipality improve cycling way and the related infrastructure. Therefore, biking got more common and comfortable due to the implementation of the bike-sharing system. (ADFC, 2015)
Many European countries have a national cycling strategy. These strategies help to improve the cycling modal share by allowing federal authorities to mobilise the different stakeholders involved in the promotion of cycling. Some examples of national cycling strategies are:
- Germany, National Cycling Plan 2020: aims to achieve 15% cycling modal share in Germany by 2020
- France, PAMA (Action plan for soft mobility – Walking and cycling): aims to encourage cycling by giving fiscal incentives to people who cycle to work
- Ireland, Ireland’s First National Cycle Policy Framework: aims to achieve a cycling modal share mark of 10% by 2020, up from 2% in 2006. This includes policies related to fiscal incentives, provision of bikes and other indirect tax benefits.
- Norway, Norway, National cycling strategy - Get on Bikes!: aims at achieving 8% cycling modal share in Norway by 2023, by focusing on funding, infrastructure, and communication.
(Forst and Sullivan, 2016)
- EU-IVS-Regulation: Ensuring data access as well as providing EU-wide multimodal travel information services and the provision of EU-wide real-time traffic information services
(Russ, Tausz, 2015)