“The good times are over,” for dockless bike-sharing, according to Singapore-based urban transport expert Professor Park Byung Joon. "If you look at bicycle-sharing, no one is making any money anywhere in the world. From a business point of view, this is a joke."
Late last year, hordes of angry customers gathered outside the Beijing headquarters of dockless bike-share firm Ofo to demand their deposits back.
The firm was put on a government black list for failing to pay its debts. Founder Dai Wei said Ofo had “borne immense cashflow pressure” over the previous 12 months and that he had considered filing for bankruptcy.
Rival Mobike meanwhile has closed down its largest UK operation in Manchester and The Newspaper reports that its goal is now to be operational only in its native China.
This week it became the third major operator to withdraw from Singapore and Professor Park Byung Joon from the Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS) is not surprised.
“They really don't have any viable business plan,” he said of dockless bike-share firms. “The good times are over. Now we have to pay."
Operators have attracted millions from investors in large part thanks to the valuable data that users share by using the schemes. In China in particular, this investment has led to rival firms flooding the streets with bikes in the hope of cornering the market in each city.
"It is a business model that defied gravity because there was a lot of cheap money pumped into it,” said Byung Joon’s colleague, transport economist Walter Theseira. "Gone will be the days of just putting bikes everywhere.”
Both experts said current fares were never likely to have covered rising operational costs. “Commuters using public transport already receive a heavy subsidy,” observed Byung Joon. “If that is the case, then why shouldn't they do it for bicycles?"
It is great having small companies that want to produce anything in Europe in a Chinese products infested market. And while this may not excite...
Phoning the new emergency number 0118 999 881 999 119 7253 would have been as effective.
Well the bollards are wearing hi-viz....
Is air pollution the reason why all our southern and urban squirrels now look grey, not red?
The only sense I can think for the idiotic manoeuvre is the driver thought the cyclist was going into the little lane too, where it would have been...
Ebay can be quite good but list it when they have one of their 80% off selling fees weekends (seem to be every second Friday-Monday), or else you...
Manufacturing defect, send it back for a refund. Could be any number of reasons. Inconvenient but it won't take long to fix.
It's not the same without a lirpa loof reference, but that's going back a few years now
I'm pleased that local businesses seem to be more aware of issues than the council are - maybe they should volunteer to walk/cycle along the path...