6 steps to starting a bike-share system

Joyride Bike Share Software Diagram

The bicycle is a powerful thing. So is fleet-management software. Imagine what happens when the two come together in one shared micromobilty system.

More bikes are hitting the street than ever before as countries turn to alternative and safe transit modes amidst the global coronavirus pandemic. With interest and government dollars significantly on the risethe UK announced £2 billion in cycling funding and is handing out up to 500,000 £50 vouchers to help people get their bikes repaired, for exampleit’s no surprise that interest in launching a shared program is mounting, too. 

Launching your own bike share can be quick and easy when the right steps (and technology) are in place. Here’s how to get started:

Step 1: Select your model type

The first thing to consider when starting a fleet is your business model. Public-sharing fleets are common city-wide open rental schemes that allow anyone to find your bike on the street, scan it and take off. Under a private B2B model, you’re renting exclusively to turnkey solutions through businesses like hotels, apartment buildings and private campuses. Are you looking for a fully docked solution, a dockless model or a hybrid where your bikes can be docked in a charging hub or locked to common street fixtures? Joyride software fits all of these solutions, and we can help you find the right fit for your business plan. 

Step 2: Pick your hardware

Your hardware should reflect your business model, so it really comes down to speed, style and city location. Your bikes should be robust, easy to maintain and shouldn’t have easily removable parts (such as seat posts) in order to prevent vandalism. The main types of hardware are e-bikes, mechanical /push bikes and cargo bikes. For example, e-bikes are more ideal for rocky terrains, while mechanical bikes pose fewer barriers to entry for riders. This is the time to also consider if you need additional hardware like charging stations, cable locks, front/rear lights for your bikes, etc. 

Step 3: Choose your IoT and bike locks

A bike-share program relies on the power of IoT integration and bike locks, which connect to the internet through GPS and Bluetooth. Some IoT have Bluetooth and GPS built inside, while there are e-bikes that have IoT integrated into the hardware itself. Bike locks have a standard ring lock or U lock that are IoT integrated, like the AXA eRL or the Omni bike lock. Find more specifics on bike locks in our 2020 Hardware Brochure.

Step 4: Get your white-label app

Joyride’s mobile app is hardware-agnostic, meaning it integrates with any IoT offering on connecting to your bike. For example, the AXA eRL and Omni bike lock models are already integrated with the Joyride native Android and iOS mobile applications, giving share owners the power to track all of their vehicles in real time and set up geofencing parameters. Our white-label app is used by riders to lock and unlock their vehicles, receive real-time alerts about events in specific geofenced zones and engage with special marketing/SMS promotions.

Step 5: City permits and insurance

Not every city is the same when it comes to issuing bike-share permits and insurance requirements. If city permits are required, you will have to provide details around fleet size, parking protocol and where your bikes are going to be stored (if this is necessary at all). With operators in more than 75 global markets, Joyride can assist with getting you set up with the right insurance partners at preferred rates and help with city relations through third-party partnerships

Step 6: Give it a name and get going 

With your hardware, software and logistics in place, the last thing to do before pressing play is making sure your business mandate and marketing plans are ready to go. If you’re looking for direction, we offer logo creation, branding and website development, because making a name for yourself should be just as easy as everything else. 

If you’re ready to take the first step, Joyride’s platform is ready for your fleet no matter the size, location and hardware. Contact us today.

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