In major urban centers around the world, bicycles seem to be taking over the roads. Eager citizens unlock bikes from docking stations in city-sponsored schemes in Paris, London, and New York. In China and Singapore, the fashion is to go “dockless” – simply unlock a bike with a code on a mobile app. Not to be outdone, California is leading the charge with electrically-powered bikes (e-bikes) and e-scooters. What’s driving this latest incarnation of the digitally-connected sharing economy?
The rapid pace of urbanization is a phenomenon that will continue for the coming decades. In order to become competitive socioeconomic hubs, cities must attract the best creative and technology-savvy workers by offering liveable spaces and a high quality of life. Few things frustrate this cause more than congestion in city centers. Travel by road and rail increased by 40% globally between 2000 and 2010. By 2050, it is expected to be twice as high as in 2010.