App-driven bikeshare, without the station, has been spreading rapidly, especially in China. But the system comes with its share of problems, including its own version of the tragedy of the commons.
Large-scale dockless bikeshare is vulnerable to vandals and thieves, and legitimate riders have little reason to treat the ubiquitous bikes well. “In China, where there are some 16 million shared bikes on the street and MoBike alone now has over a million, the authorities have been forced to clear up ziggurats of discarded bikes.”
U.S. operators are keen to “maintain decorum.” Meanwhile, “DC’s dockless bike experiment is a beta test designed to run through April next year. It seems to be working beautifully. The city already has close to 4,000 docked bikes serving two million-plus riders a year with its Capital Bikeshare system.”