Bike-sharing system

Bike-sharing system is a shared micromobility service for short term bike rental. The service can be free of charge (e.g., paid by a city) or offered for a price. There are around 2000 bike-sharing services available around the world, mostly based in cities.

The first bike-sharing system was introduced in 1965 in Amsterdam when a group named Provo left 50 bikes unlocked around the city for everyone to use. The second-generation arrangement in bike-sharing was a coin-deposit system. In this system, the users could unlock the bicycles with a coin that was refunded to them upon return of the bicycle.

Today, the most popular bike-sharing systems are automated docking stations (third generation) and dockless systems (fourth generation). In many cities, renting a bike has become an everyday digital service. For unlocking the bike, the users only need a subscription card or their smartphone. The users can leave the bikes to suitable docking stations or areas. This makes bike-sharing a convenient alternative to both public transportation and private cars. 

Bike-sharing customers don’t depend on transportation routes and can use the service on demand. They can reach their destination without traffic jams or parking costs while contributing to a cleaner city environment as well as their health. For these benefits to have an effect, both the cities and service providers need to continually invest in infrastructure, system maintenance and innovation.

  • Bicycle-sharing system
  • Public bike share
  • Public bicycle scheme