Bikes are likely to dominate our tomorrow’s cities
Cities worldwide are now turning to the bicycle as a solution to the issues of congestion and population – growth in urbanization has resulted into more pressure on infrastructural facilities.
There are now close to one thousand bike sharing schemes compare to the four that we had in the last fifteen years. Most would made you to pick up and leave a bike at the designated area, but the new dockless schemes from China are coming to the cities around the world. But, proving to be controversial.
Bike Schemes are now a common sight in cities
Velib, the first public bike-sharing scheme was launched in Paris in 2007 which attracted 20 million users in its very first year. And, its environmental benefits which brought some health benefit as well. According to estimates, Velib users have burned more than 19billion calories in the first six years of the scheme.
There are now new ones such as Ofo. Ofo is China’s largest operator, which has an estimates of three million users per day across 34 cities in the country. And, 150 cities around the world. When users click on the app, they are enabled to locate the closest bike and receive a four-digit code to unlock it.
After they are through with the process, they can leave the bike wherever they want, and they are urged to drop it near the existing cycling parking.
Cities around the world are now searching for the low-tech bicycle to help solve the traffic crises that is facing them.
In Shanghai, Ofo is facing a more serious problem a first – of – its – kind legal action from the parents of a 11-year child who managed to break the lock of one of its bikes and was subsequently killed in a collision with a coach.
Any child whose age is below 12 is not permitted to ride on the roads in China.
“Everyone at Ofo is deeply saddened by the tragic loss of life, and public safety is a top priority for the company in all countries,” the spokes man said.
“We are exploring options to further deter unsafe and under-age riding. Due to pending litigation, however, we cannot discuss the case in any further details.”
The glut of duckless shared-bike start-ups in China. There are 40 to date and has brought its own issues.
According to the state media, one Beijing repair center has now receives over 400 damaged bikes each day, while many are struggling to cope with demand.
A Wukong Bicycle was shut down after 90% of its cycles have been stolen.
Among the European countries, Netherland has been regarded by many as the spiritual home of bike. But, when Ofo came to Amsterdam, it wasn’t a big success.
“There is already a shortage of parking spaces in the city as so many people have a bike and when they have used it, they leave it wherever suits them – But who is cleaning up the mess?” Asked Mr Tettero.
“It might make cycling cheaper – but the bike is a precious vechile so you need to take care of it not just throw away ”
However, bike have changed a bit since it became popular 200 years ago, but take-up of e-bikes is now booming in Netherlands, with one in three bikes sold there an e-bike.