Coalition of bike share operators outline a vision for good working practices
This letter is from a broad coalition of the main bike share operators with interests in the UK, moderated by Bikeplus
6th November 2017
Creating Successful Public Bike Share
There have been dramatic changes in the public bike share world in 2017. Opportunities have been opened up due to the arrival of privately financed operators from the Far East and Europe coupled with the development of new technology allowing for greater flexibility. These lead to opportunities for an expansion of bike share in the UK with faster deployment. Furthermore, the option to provide bike share schemes to a city without the need for capital expenditure has brought into question the need for formal tendering processes. Avoiding lengthy expensive procurement is welcomed on all sides but raises the question of what replaces it.
This makes city-scale bike share an affordable, rapidly deliverable part of the solution to key urban policy objectives including air quality improvement, access and accessibility, congestion reduction and health improvement.
Bikeplus is as an independent charity working to maximise the benefits of bike share schemes. Bikeplus hosts an Operators and Suppliers Group to facilitate joint initiatives and promote best practice.
With the aim of setting high standards the group has collated a set of recommendations for cities to consider when developing public bike share. These stem from the extensive expertise built by operators dealing with city authorities around the world, moderated and co-ordinated by Bikeplus to provide commercially impartial guidance.
The group recommend:
- Regulation: The Group strongly recommends there is a need for regulation rather than individual city guidelines. It is suggested that the Bikeplus Accreditation Scheme is adopted as a UK-wide streamlined, consistent standard to inform the selection of operators. The scheme has been developed with extensive consultation with public and private sector bodies and has the advantage compared to Codes of Conduct of providing third-party proactive scrutiny.
- Transparent Competitive Process: Where funding is being offering a tender process will be required, however where a scheme is being privately financed the Group recommends that Cities move from the use of a full tender to a simpler “Request for Proposals” where all operators are invited to outline what they could offer towards a set of requirements to a defined open timetable. Alternatively, a licensing system could be adopted to select who can operate in the area particularly where attracting more than one operator is desirable.
- Licencing multiple operators:
- The group recommends the use of licensing where an authority is considering allowing more than one operator;
- It is recommended that licences should include reference to the need for Bikeplus Accreditation;
- The group recommends that careful consideration is given to the inclusion of more than two operators in cities of less than 150,000 population or three operators in cities greater than 150,000 population unless there is a strong differentiation in service;
- The group recommends that revenue from licensing is ringfenced for reinvestment in cycling initiatives such as supporting social inclusion and safer cycling initiatives;
- Bikeplus can provide examples of licensing agreements to support cities
Public bike share is a proven tool for increasing cycling amongst new and existing riders. A powerful opportunity has arisen to increase modal share by bike if coupled with good management. It is important that negative publicity is avoided. We hope that the recommendations outlined in this letter provide a useful coordination of best practice. The Bikeplus Operators and Suppliers Group welcomes feedback and discussion to strengthen the sector and maximise its contribution to social, environmental and economic goals.
|Joseph Seal Driver||ofo|
|Erdem Ovacik||Donkey Republic|
|James Coombe||UMS Bikes|