Bike-Sharing system or bicycle-sharing system has been around since 1965 when a group called Provo introduced it in the bicycle-loving Amsterdam. But the idea of bike-sharing created a buzz only after the entry of smart city concept. It began to be recognised as an effective tool to reduce air pollution, traffic congestion, travel costs, and fossil fuel-dependency while improving public health. Besides, making cities look much more vibrant, cool and cosmopolitan.
However, launching a bike-sharing system in cities and over time making it an appealing mode of transportation is no easy feat. It requires a significant private and public investment and alterations to the built environment while understanding the needs of citizens. Many bike-sharing programs have been initiated amidst much hype yet their popularity has soon declined. They have ended up being used mainly on weekends and for recreation purpose.
There are a number of factors that lead to the failure of a bike-sharing system. But according to reports, the most impactful factors that discourage people from opting for it are dockless systems or systems that do not have adequate docks in a city. Dockless systems increase the risk of theft and vandalism while insufficient docking points make it difficult for riders to park the bike at a given dock and hence reducing the proper redistribution of bikes. If this single issue is resolved, bike-sharing programs can easily meet success and become an irresistible transport option in smart cities.