Bike sharing market set to soar

European and American cities to see uplift by 2020

The market for bike sharing is set to substantially grow according to new research. A recent report by Roland Berger indicates that the sector is likely to be worth €5.3 billion (that's £4.1 billion, or US$6.3 billion) by 2020.

European and American cities are likely to see further growth as cycleways improve and special 'bike stations' are formed, said the report. 

London-based strategy consultants Roland Berger noted the results in their paper titled ‘Shared mobility, how new businesses are rewriting the rules of the private transportation game’, saying that by 2020, the market value of bike-sharing could be worth €5.3 billion.

Their findings also mention that the market for bike sharing will be given a boost when new locks – that can be opened by smartphones – improve the way items are hired.

The company, which operates across 36 countries, noted that:

  • 533 cities around the world now operate bike-sharing facilities
  • New York has 6,000 shared bikes spread across 300 bike-stations
  • Paris has 18,380 bikes
  • Antwerp is set to make 1,500 bikes available at 150 stations
  • Bike sharing was developed in 1965 in Amsterdam
  • In Aachen, Germany, ebikes are offered
  • Businesses have taken an interest in bike sharing; CitiBank sponsors one of New York's bike-sharing programmes
  • Barcelona has the biggest demand for bike shares
  • Mexico City has the highest number of bike stations per km

The consultants believe that the market will grow, with supply in turn fuelling demand, and technological advances improving the service for users.

Gregor is BikeRadar's Beginners and Family section editor after leading a cycling heavy youth and regularly clocking up more than 34 miles on the ride to work each day. He's interested in the lighter side of cycling, such as commuting, children's bikes and the occasional short sportive. He also helps to keep BikeRadar's forum in check, and can often be found joining in conversation threads on how to step chafing and the like.

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