October 5, 2016
In partnership with ULI and Allen Matkins, Connect Media brings you the “Number of the Week” every Wednesday.
10,000: The Number of Bicycles Offered by Mobike, a Station-Free Shared Bike Service
In April, Mobike, a technology company, began offering a bicycle-sharing service that already expanded from its launch in Shanghai to two other Chinese cities. Mobike, which reportedly had more than 10,000 bicycles in service a few months ago, now has several times that number on the road, according to company CEO Davis Wang.
What does the Mobike approach mean for urban planning?
“Mobike has the potential to achieve utilization rates three times higher than traditional bike-share systems,” said Zheng Di, head of the Science and Innovation Lab at the Shanghai Urban Planning and Design Research Institute.
“That’s in part because unlike traditional bike sharing systems, Mobike does not rely on docking stations. Instead, the bicycles can be parked and picked up from any location within the urban core. The company’s goal is to have a Mobike ready to be rented within 100 meters whenever and wherever one of its users searches for a bike in an area where the service is active,” Wang added. Users deploy a smartphone app similar to the one created by the car-sharing service Uber to locate the nearest bike, unlock it, and pay for the service, which costs 1 renminbi, or about 15 cents per half hour.