Art & Culture
August 4, 2018

China’s Bike Bubble Aftermath

From The Atlantic, via PT correspondent Michael Alexander, one of two dozen artful (and depressing) images of the aftermath of China’s bike share boom.

The fallout of a burst bike-share bubble in China has left the country with millions of abandoned bicycles piled into “graveyards”—such as this one, photographed on April 14 in Nanning—that cities are still sorting through.

…In a few cases, plans have been announced to refurbish and distribute some of the bikes to smaller neighbouring towns; in others, wholesale recycling has begun, and bicycles are being crushed into cubes.

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Mobi by Shaw Go (Vancouver’s bike share system) has reached a new milestone — a 3-ride-per-bike, per-day average (well, 2.99 to be precise) on July 23, 2018, followed by 3.00 on July 24.

With thanks to @VanBikeShareBot, the brainchild of Mike Jarrett.

Yesterday there were approximately 4166 Mobi trips. That’s the most this year!

Active stations: 151, Active bikes: 1393, Most used station: Stanley Park – Information Booth, Least used station: Britannia Parking Lot

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The latest docking station for Mobi, Vancouver’s public bike share — across from Waterfront Station (at last).

It’s also across from one of the largest parking lots for car2go and Evo car sharing services, hidden away in Granville Square.

They’ve all been successful. Here’s the latest announcement from Mobi:

Over one million rides in two years

In its inaugural year, Mobi by Shaw Go saw exceptional uptake with over 35,000 users by fall 2017. Today, Mobi by Shaw Go boasts 154 stations, over 1,500 bikes, and over 1 million rides covering over three million kilometres …

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Sunday afternoon, Sunset Beach, sunny day.
On what was once vehicle parking, there are now two docking stations for Mobi bikeshare:

These cyclists were able to access the last open spaces.
By comparison, here’s the situation on the rest of the parking lot:

Lots of empty spaces for cars.  Of course, this is paid parking – but really, it’s a sunny weekend afternoon next to a busy part of the seawall, with access to the False Creek ferries. And yet the demand for car parking is abysmal.  Looks like they’ll have to use some of those spaces to put in another docking station for bikes.

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Thanks to our pals at Mobi By Shaw Go for a handy crib sheet of data on the success the bike-share service has enjoyed in the 5 months since launch. These numbers are terrific, for a transportation alternative that soft-launched on July 20, 2016.  And don’t forget having scored a big sponsorship deal with Shaw.
My favourite stat is about the estimated calories burned being roughly equivalent to eating 53, 630 doughnuts.  I wonder if those are the Timmies double-double chocolate doughnut? MMMmmmmm. . . . .

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December 9, 2016

Glen Korstrom in Business In Vancouver samples opinion around Shaw’s Mobi by Shaw Go sponsorship deal.  Looks like Shaw has done pretty well.
Given Vancouver’s 10% (and rapidly growing) mode share for people taking bike trips to and from work, I think that Shaw’s sponsorship taps this growing demographic on the shoulder and says: “Hi, we’re with you”.

Writes Korstrom:  “Not only does Shaw get to associate its brand with an initiative that many view in a positive light, it also gets to put its brand on a swarm of moving billboards and connects the brand with a demographic that is likely to buy Shaw products such as mobile phone plans and Wi-Fi.
“They’re really painting themselves the right colour here and showing that they care about social equity,” said Simon Fraser University Beedie School of Business marketing professor Lindsay Meredith. . . .

. . . University of British Columbia Sauder School of Business marketing professor Darren Dahl: “Shaw taps into a specific consumer segment: younger and typically more environmentally conscious, . . .”

It is distressing that Prof. Meredith seems to think that Mobi, and probably bikes in general, are mostly for the poor.  This contradicts research into the demographics of people who ride bikes, and is a good example of myopic motordom at its finest.

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December 7, 2016

Bike-share pops up in another Price Tags post.  I like to see where other city’s systems are going, since bike rides have 10% mode share in Vancouver for trips to and from work. And bike-share is a cheap and easy way for people to introduce themselves to regular bike riding, which could easily lead to ongoing mode-share increases.
BIXI in Montreal has published 2016 results, now that their bikes are bedded down for the season in that wintery city.  More detail HERE for those who read French. Look what’s happened to utilization in 7 years. 
 
Plenty of indications that “Mobi by Shaw Go” (a.k.a. “Mobi”) is an early success here. After 7 years, and with a much larger system in a much larger coverage area, BIXI is getting around 3.7 rides per bike per day, but started with around 1.1 per day in the first year.  Mobi is at around 2 rides per day with much less coverage, and only 4 months into it’s operation.
Plenty of thoughts here, too, about marketing gimmicks and incentives, particularly around payment options. C’mon Compass.
BIXI IN NUMBERS, AS OF NOVEMBER 15, 2016

  • Coverage: 460 stations / 9,670 docking points / 95km2  covered / 11 boroughs and 2 cities (Longueuil and Westmount)
  • 
Number of bikes: 5,200
  • Days in operation: 214
  • Trips taken: 4.1 million
  • 
Average number of trips taken per day: 19,069
  • 70% of trips are to and from work
  • Average bike usage time: 15 minutes
  • The busiest station: Maisonneuve/Bleury with 87,122 transactions
  • BIXI Manulife Valets: more than 44,000 bikes handled at permanent and temporary event stations
  • Overview of the six Free BIXI Sundays offered by Manulife (themed events taking place the last Sunday of each month): more than 134,000 trips taken equaling around 400,000 km covered.
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December 6, 2016

City of Vancouver announced today that Shaw has made a 5-year commitment to sponsoring Mobi.  Shaw has taken every sponsorship opportunity from bikes to docking stations and lord knows what stuff in between. It will be called “Mobi By Shaw Go”. This brings in big bucks (no amount given) with minimal complication for Mobi.
Yahoo!!  This investment enables Mobi’s future due to greater financial security, and it further enables the crucial next stage: expansion.  Mobi has been remarkably successful so far with 130,000 rides, and around 5,000 members in 4 months from a standing start on August 18.  But its future depends on increasing its size and expanding its coverage area.
East Van, here comes Mobi, and another solid transportation choice.

City of Vancouver Press Release:   Shaw Communications Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing and Culture Officer Jim Little said: “We look forward to working with the City and Vancouver Bike Share to provide residents and visitors with a modern and eco-friendly way to enjoy Vancouver and connect with friends and family while on the go. As a major employer with hundreds of thousands of customers in Vancouver and the Lower Mainland, we are proud to make this significant investment in the bike share program.”

In my thinking, Shaw is an excellent sponsor.  It’s a rich local company, with a history of community involvement. They’re in it for the long ride (so to speak).
Congratulations go out to Mia Kohout (Mobi’s GM) and all of her staff for getting Mobi out there, in operation, and now making future success ever more likely. It’s been a pretty smooth ride so far, and it looks like the ride just got a whole lot longer.

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