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How much does bike sharing cost?

By Sarah Martens / Updated: 01 Aug 2014
The latest edition of the EPOMM e-update gives an overview of recent trends in bike sharing, from the spread of the concept to Eastern Europe, to costs and framework conditions for a successful bike sharing scheme.
If bike sharing is considered as an extension of the public transport offer, it is a relatively inexpensive investment. Analysis in Barcelona showed that bike sharing schemes in big cities (> 0.5 million inhabitants) should at least have 500 bikes to serve the users’ daily mobility needs.

For large-scale station-based systems, infrastructure and implementation costs are estimated at €2,500 to €3,000 per bike. Running costs on average vary between €1,500 and €2,500 per bike and per year. 70% of implementation costs goes to the building of the stations, hence the rise of stationless systems (see below). Social Bicycles founder Ryan Rzepecki claims that his system lowers start-up costs to less than $1,000 per bike. User revenues rarely cover operational and investment costs, so additional funding is needed.

Currently, world-wide bike sharing is moving on to the fourth generation of systems. For those new to the concept of bike sharing, the October e-update ends with some background information on the history and types of bike sharing systems.

Source: EPOMM e-update October 2012 (in English - also available in Czech, German, French and Italian)
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