In the United States, bike sharing has been largely hit or miss for a long time. However, services such as Limebike, Ford GoBike, and newer rivals making US strides (Mobike, for example), are definitely changing things around.
The docked systems of bike sharing are great and doing well in Europe, the UK and Australia.
However the dockless bikes are an unmitigated disaster. They are a bit like the dot com bubble. The operators have raised millions in funding, and I suspect they are living high off that money while they can, because it can only be a matter of time before governments and councils start banning the schemes from operation altogether.
There's only a couple of dockless schemes in Australia so far, but already we have hundreds of bikes being abandoned in rivers, up trees, and on suburban pavements. In China, the numbers run into thousands.
Hi Marisa, thanks for the comment! It sounds like operational change is required for your gripe related to dockless bikes. I wonder if it's possible to hold riders more accountable - though I have seen youngsters moving locked stationary bikes wherever they please. However, admittedly, the problem has gotten slightly better here in the East Bay, as more people get used to seeing the bikes around town.
It's clearly not a perfect system, as you pointed out, with bikes being damaged and left all over the place. I'm working on a quick blog about bike sharing, so you've given me a bit more food for thought! Cheers!
Here's what's happening in Australia.
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victor … a6d2d45aba
Apparently it's also quite common for people to take a bike and keep it in their backyard. They do pay for it when they use it, but of course it means the bike isn't available to anyone else the rest of the time.
And here's what's happening in China
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/ … giant-pile
I really don't think it's a case of people "getting used" to them. It's human nature and it's not going to change. It's noticeable that the docked bike systems have been running smoothly for quite a long time now - but set up a system where people don't have to return the bike, and they won't.
Sorry Marisa, but it looks like a couple of bike share companies wanted to start 2018 off with a bang...
Spin unveils dockless electric bicycle
LimeBike Launches Electric Assist Bikes Into the Dockless Age
Yes, obviously they're still the latest craze for investors, so of course there will be people willing to take their money.
What makes me angry is the damage to the environment. The whole idea of encouraging bicycles is to reduce pollution, but the amount of energy and materials being wasted to make bicycles which are then being trashed, and the amount of landfill being occupied by hundreds of destroyed bikes, is probably even worse!
I hope governments legislate to ban them. Unfortunately there are enough selfish, lazy, and downright destructive people in our society who will continue to spoil these schemes for the rest of us, and I do not believe that will ever change.
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