A users guide to bike sharing, financial - updated June (ofo).


by Tony Walker May 18, 2018 1 Comment

There are lots of different pricing models for the London bike sharing community and others. Thought I'd identify the basic models for each and suggest the nirvana - no it can't be free as these are capitalist organisations so they need to make money!

Ofo have changed their rates now £0.70/30mins - we'll watch the price increases along with mobikes £1/20mins for the new bikes.

 

   

Scheme Deposit Cost/period Notes
Santander bikes - Boris Bikes Nil Free for first 30 mins £2 to hire a bike per day, or £90/annum
Ofo Bikes Nil £0.70/30 mins

Maximum £5 charge per day

Coupons are provide initially and can be earned for free rides

Urbo £1 £0.50/30 mins
obike Nil £0.50/30 mins
mobike (original bikes) £1 £0.50p/20 mins

One deposit on app - two different bikes

Offers a mobike pass (daily, annual etc. Annual £150 discounted to £90 currently) which allows first 2 hours of riding for free, then charges

mobike (new bikes) £1 £1/20 mins

One deposit on app - two different bikes

Offers a mobike pass (daily, annual etc. Annual £150 discounted to £90 currently) which allows first 2 hours of riding for free, then charges

citybike (Liverpool) £1 £1/hour

 

Divvy bikes (Chicago) Nil $3/ ride less than 30 mins Daily passes $15 unlimited if each ride less than 3 hours, Annual $99/year each ride less than 45 mins

 

So some basic trends, a deposit with a low cost per period of time seems to be the most appealing model. 

All the cost per period of time are  based upon part use of a bike so 25 mins on a new mobike is £2, but only £0.70 on an ofo.

My preference is the low charge for 30 mins (as this gets you across most of London and cycling for longer than this is relatively hard work on these bikes), I would say between £0.20 and £0.50, I do like the idea of a max per day and a deposit seems reasonable. With the plethora of bikes available the annual schemes are less appealing as a number would be required, and economically you would only take them if they offer free rides for first thirty minutes (citybikes in Liverpool are free for the first 5 mins!) and you use the bikes frequently. One benefit of the annual schemes is generally the speed of transaction, taking a boris bike out is the quickest process of all. The challenge is to encourage usage of the schemes and make some money, so low enough that people aren't deterred and happy to do multiple journeys - which is where the cap comes in.

I personally use the annual Boris bike scheme and pay for ofo (although still have coupons so it's not costing anything yet), mobikes differential pricing for a bike that fits the European user is unusual - and it's still a single speed bike, so whilst I use their bikes they are not my ideal answer. Hopefully urbo will expand from NE/E London and obike start to appear to add choice; with the standard appearing in London to be 30mins for £0.50 - four journeys for the price of latte!




Tony Walker
Tony Walker

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1 Response

David Lally
David Lally

June 25, 2018

No mention of the Brompton hire scheme!

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