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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. .


Main Benefits
  • Promoting sustainable private transport models

  • Promoting sustainable behavior

  • Reducing use of fossils in public transport


Functions help you to understand what the products can do for you and which ones will help you achieve your goals.
Each solution has at least one mandatory function, which is needed to achieve the basic purpose of the solution, and several additional functions, which are features that can be added to provide additional benefits.

Mandatory Functions
Potential Functions
    charing electric bikes
    informing customers about bike sharing
    connecting bikes



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.

Supporting City Context
  • Scale: densely populated are with a lot of people willing to share their bikes to earn some money, e.g. students
  • Topography: rather flat, no high-quality bikes need
  • Infrastructure: Public bike parking areas, portable locks that can be opened e.g. by smartphone

As a service for company employees on site, for large events or for hotel guests, can be connected to municipal systems


Electric bikes provide the opportunity for cities to reinvent their mobility model, tackling all these problems and promoting a healthy lifestyle.

  • Inner-city rental of e-bikes
  • Bikes must be plugged in when returned to recharge
  • Transactions normally done at the station or by app
  • Special purpose bikes, e.g. for families or to transport large/heavy goods
  • Transactions normally done at the station or by app
  • Inner-city rentals without any fixed pickup points within a defined operating area
  • Bicycles can be picked up and dropped off at any intersection
  • Inner-city rental with guaranteed provision of bikes at fixed pick-up points
  • Bicycles can be picked up at pick-up points and dropped off anywhere
  • Inner-city rental of bicycles from specific pick-up points
  • Bicycles are rented and returned at specific pick-up points

Business Model

Market Overview

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)


Cost Structure

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)

Driving Factors


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)

Supporting Infrastructure

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)

Government Initiatives

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)

Legal Requirements


- 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)

Use Cases

Electric Assist Cargo Bikes (Pedelecs) for goods delivery in Manchester

The aim is to promote the sustainable alternatives for local deliveries using electric Assist cargo bikes. The Municipality offers the use of 4 bikes leased from a fleet of different bikes owned by Manchester Bike Hire to any organization in Manchester.

Public bike sharing system in Tartu

With the aim of encouraging the use of bicycles and make this a considerable alternative to cars, the city of Tartu has implemented a city wide bike sharing scheme as part of the SmartEnCity Project. The system consists of public city bikes, parking lots with safety locks and a management system.

Point-to-point station bound bike sharing

16 bikes were operated by HopperPoint as a service for visitors, workers and inhabitants in Strijp-S.

Single base bike sharing

A mixture of ebikes and normal bikes is offered in a station bound bike sharing system located at one of the entrances of Strijp S.

Mobility Station in Mülheim

The Mobility stations in Mülheim provide commuters and residents of the busy district with a location, where they can easily find various alternative transport options. The aim is to encourage behavioral change from using cars towards more active modes of transport like walking and cycling. 

Bike Sharing and Car Sharing Schemes in Turku

A pilot bike sharing system (BSS), with 300 bicycles and 37 stations, has implemented in Turku. This measure will provide the first BSS in Turku.

Development of an integrated e-bike sharing scheme

The reduction of the individual car use and the availability of multimodal mobility for everybody is a challenge for the future. The focus of this Use Case is on the development of a carrier e-bike for mobility-impaired people.

Shared e-mobility system in Milan

Milan’s shared e-mobility system includes: e-cars, e-bikes, e-logistics vehicles, smart parking, e-vehicle charging, and condominium e-car sharing.

Related Solutions

Vehicle Sharing System

Vehicle sharing systems allow customers to use various vehicles without owning them. There are different types of vehicle sharing systems on the market. Differences can be the vehicle shared, like car sharing, bike sharing, scooter sharing or electric vehicle sharing.

Smart Parking

A Smart Parking System makes use of sensors or other technologies to determine the availability of parking lots in cities. This information can be shared with drivers, reducing the time spent on looking for a parking lot, and thus traffic congestion.

Public Charging System for Electric Vehicles

The current EU regulation on emissions for cars is the strictest worldwide. Along with further restrictions the thresholds cannot be meet with conventional cars only anymore. One alternative technology, reducing the local emissions, are electric vehicles.

Intermodal Mobility Hubs

The transportation sector is responsible for 28 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, the bulk of which (60 percent) are produced by personal mobility. One option to decrease the environmental impact of personal mobility is the seamless integration of different modes of transport using mobility hubs.