Saturday, April 1, 2017

Uber for Bikes

The App tells you where to find a bike. To unlock it swipe your QR code and ride away, with a dockless bike you can leave it where your journey ends. Your ride cost $0.15 and the bike is available for the next user.

Startups for dockless bikes are springing up in China and receive funding by the heavyweights in Internet tech.   MoBike started by Hue WeiWei and David Wang (former head of Uber Shanghai) deployed dockless bikes in six cities the first three months of 2017. Backed by Chinese tech giant Tencent and Foxcomm MoBike production will reach 10 million bikes per year (The Guardian).

Ofo began as a Peking University project in 2015, today they claim 10 million dockless bike users in 33 cities. Ofo led by 26 year old Zhang Siding raised $130 million in capital from investors including Didi, smartphone maker Xiaomi and U.S. hedge fund Coatue who backed Facebook and Google (Reuters).

Chinese municipalities like Hangzhou respond to severe air pollution and auto congestion with improved municipal bus service but funded public bike shares too citing huge savings in bus fuel costs operations costs and air pollution. 
 
Bike Share dumping in China

Chinese authorities responded to bike dumping with public re-education programs: credits for good behavior and penalty fees for bad.    

Naturally for the best solutions to improve bike usage and mode-share look to the Netherlands where the autonomous Google bike is available to anyone any age. Available April 1 2017. 


Footnote:  1.0 Why bikes stay up!            -LS

1 comment: