6 Dec 18

Global bike-sharing fleet reaches 24.4 million

The worldwide total of shared bikes hit 24.4 million in 2017 and will reach 36.9 million by 2023, says a new market research report on bike-sharing by Berg Insight. 

Traditionally – if that is not too strong a word for such a young industry – bike-sharing used station-based networks, requiring users to pick up and return bikes at fixed locations.

However, the free-floating business model, allowing users to drop off (and pick up) shared bikes anywhere within a designated area, has overtaken the station-based variety in numbers of vehicles deployed.  

This is mainly due to the popularity of free-floating bike-sharing in China, where in 2017 no less than 20 million shared bikes were deployed in such schemes. That volume oversaturated the market, causing problems such with huge numbers of vandalised and abandoned vehicles (pictured). It seems about half of that initial volume has now been scrapped, at least in some Chinese cities. The current upward trend is e-bike-sharing. Also, operators are deploying more robust models. 

Prominent bike-sharing companies worldwide include Ofo and Mobike, Hellobike and Lime, JUMP and Motivate (acquired by Uber and Lyft, respectively), JCDecaux and PBSC, and Nextbike and Cyclehop. 

As an excellent means to overcome the ‘last-mile’ problem, bike-sharing is slated to grow and play an important part in the multimodal sharing economy of the future.

Authored by: Frank Jacobs