Dockless bikeshare, a bikeshare system not requiring docking stations, is coming. In fact, dockless bikes have already arrived in Auckland (in October 2017, unannounced!), in Wellington (July 2017, also unannounced and since folded); and other New Zealand cities will follow. They can – and do – create huge problems, from footpaths cluttered with broken bikes, to bikes being dumped in waterways in large numbers (as Melbourne found out the hard way). But they can also transform cities for the better by giving people convenient access for short trips, complementing public transport, and replacing long walks or short car trips. Which experience will your city have?
This paper argues that, internationally, dockless bikeshare (and hybrid dockless/docked systems) will displace the remaining docked-only systems. The authors contend that dockless bikeshare operators (DBOs) should be actively managed by local government. Make it known that dockless bikeshare in your city is by invitation only. Pick an operator you trust, insist that they meet agreed performance targets and thus avoid the many possible pitfalls. Publicly back the operator and give them social license. This will put your city on track to reap the benefits of these schemes and avoid the pitfalls.
The paper was presented at the 2WALKandCYCLE Conference in Palmerston North. The paper is also available on our website. The presentation can either be viewed as static slides or as a narrated video on Youtube (14 min).
At the conference, it was voted best presentation of the day.
2018 2WALKandCYCLE Conference, Palmerston North, 30 Jul - 1 Aug 2018