BlogCitiesHow cities can make bike-sharing more accessible and inclusive
October 21, 2021

How cities can make bike-sharing more accessible and inclusive

By Damien Brunet
inclusive bike sharing
Fusion is our answer to inclusivity and accessibility: a connected electric bike for self-service and long-term leasing to give entire cities universal access to cycling.

“Cycling projects an image of health and prosperity and is a serious alternative to the automobile for short trips as the engine of urban economic growth and public health”.

Many cities have invested in - or are currently exploring - bike-sharing solutions for their citizens to get more cars off the road and, subsequently, to improve air quality, alleviate congestion and make cities more peaceful on the whole.

Cities face a major challenge when seeking to launch or improve their bike-sharing scheme.

Improving accessibility & inclusivity

In French cities with bike-sharing schemes (excluding Paris), less than half of inhabitants live a 10-minute walk away from a self-service station. This is one of the most mature bike-sharing markets.

One of the goals of bike schemes is to solve the ‘first’ and ‘last mile’ problem; as the figure above suggests, this is not the case for half of citizens.

To make the service convenient, we need to improve availability for users: when they need a bike, they should have access to one.

The challenge: investment costs

Cities are doing their best to make bike-sharing as inclusive as possible. In the town centre, building stations is not a problem. Population density is high and this is where bikes have the most demand, culminating in the most number of trips per bike per day - which justifies the investment.  

Historically, however, it has been to be more difficult to find the financial balance in the suburbs. Usage may be inferior to that of the city centre (although this yet to be proven),  and fleet reallocation efforts - which ensure that enough bikes are available in the right place at the right time - are more demanding than in city centres.

How can cities be more inclusive to the suburbs without committing to significantly higher operational costs?

Augmented Bike Networks

Fusion is our answer to inclusivity and accessibility: a connected electric bike for self-service and long-term leasing to give entire cities universal access to cycling - from city centres to the suburbs. This bike is perfectly suited to cover large areas thanks to an ultra-compact station model.

Combining our experience as a micromobility operator, and devising and rolling out some of the largest bike-sharing schemes in the world, our bike is built with the robustness of a fleet bike, but with the comfort and easy-handling of a personal bicycle.

velo inclusif cycliste
Fusion is powered by advanced embedded software and comes with a companion app with an elegant user interface.

Long-term leasing to connect the suburbs

With this new model, Augmented Bike Networks will connect entire cities: end-to-end bike services interlaced with traditional public transport to make sure there is no ‘end of the line’.

This will allow cities to unlock the long-term leasing business model that has proven to be lucrative for many private companies - and do so with the same bike as they use for sharing services, should they desire.  

The long-term leasing model makes bike-sharing accessible to the suburbs, and to other people that might not necessarily use the scheme, at minimal additional operational costs.

It gives people:

  • Access to their own robust bike
  • A higher level of comfort and personalisation
  • Increased flexibility - the freedom to park where they need to (i.e. outside their house)
  • Included insurance in the event their bike breaks down or is stolen

A long-term leasing option allows a bike-sharing scheme to have a much further reach; cities can target a new demographic, resulting in improved ridership numbers and increased stickiness of the service.

advantages fusion inclusive bike sharing.png
Whether you want to operate a traditional bike-share or a long-term leasing service, Fusion has you covered.

What cities can achieve with Fusion

With a robust bike that doesn’t need to be repaired often, and a business model that doesn’t require regular rebalancing of the fleet, cities can achieve the following with a negligible increase in operational costs:

  • Inclusivity: allowing people to rent a bike for however long they like, with increased flexibility.
  • Availability: Fewer people taking bikes from the centre to the suburbs will improve fleet availability in the centre of town and maximize trips per bike per day for your sharing service.  
  • Master demand and supply: A bike that can be let long-term and operated in a classic bike-share ensures that you are always able to adapt your scheme to the demand. In doing so, fleet management activity is simplified.
  • Tackle congestion: Including the suburbs in a bike-sharing scheme prevents suburban traffic coming into the center and congesting streets.
  • Take the pressure off busy lines: More bikes on the streets will alleviate the stress on the busiest metro/tram/bus lines (it might prevent hundreds of thousands - or millions - being spent on metro line extensions).
  • User satisfaction: the convenience and comfort of the service will increase user satisfaction.

And, like any other bike-sharing scheme, CO2 emissions and air pollution will be reduced, and active mobility will be promoted. Electric bikes are more than a bike-sharing scheme.

They are the key to a quieter, more harmonious cities.

Ready to create a truly inclusive bike-sharing scheme?

Contact us

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