Will EBikeshare Replace EBike Ownership For Most People in Cities?

Will city dwellers do more riding on personally owned or shared ebikes?

  • Personally owned ebikes

    Votes: 15 68.2%
  • Shared ebikes

    Votes: 7 31.8%

  • Total voters
    22

Nova Haibike

Well-Known Member
Ofo donated useable pedal bikes to a local cycling non-profit which sold them a week ago for $100, several are now on Craigslist DC for $200, a cheap donor bike for a DIY mid-drive conversion.
That was my co-op. Not only were the bikes useable, they were brand-new, in-the-box bikes. They had more bikes as well, which they donated to another non-profit here in the area.
 

Nova Haibike

Well-Known Member
Ofo and Mobike dockless pedal bikeshare have stopped operating in the District of Columbia. With the success of Bird e-scooters, and their uninvited expansion across the Potomac to Arlington, VA, the remaining DC players Lyft/Motivate, LimeBike, and Uber/Jump, are also adding e-scooter fleets, and Arlington will follow DC by starting a dockless trial in September.
I don't have a problem with sharing services, only with the people riding them. I'm down at the Mall often, and many people who use these bikes and scooters are inconsiderate and sometimes dangerous in the way they ride. I haven't seen anyone get hurt...yet. But the situation is exactly the same as a heavily trafficked MUP; pedestrians, joggers (with earbuds), dog-walkers, strollers, scooters, bikes, and yes even horses all mixed together. It doesn't help that many people are busy staring at their phones, including those riding the scooters and bikes...with one hand, of course.
 

Dewey

Well-Known Member
those riding the scooters and bikes...with one hand, of course.
On Labor Day I encountered a dozen scooters in 20 minutes riding Ballston-Rosslyn round-trip, one young couple were balancing shopping bags on either side of the scooter handlebars, I wondered how people might carry shopping. They're fine riding in the bike lanes on Wilson Blvd as far as Clarendon but the stretch of Wilson from Clarendon to Ballston does not have bike lanes (they could ride in the bike lanes on Fairfax Drive instead but choose not to) and my heart has been in my mouth several times watching wobbly riders in the traffic lanes being passed by huge construction vehicles and city buses.
 

jazz

Well-Known Member
We just got Lime Bikes in our city which has one of the highest bike theft rates in the country. We'll see how this works out.
 

Dewey

Well-Known Member
A scooter rider was killed in Washington D.C.
"The distinctive Lime scooter, a shoe and a pair of headphones were left in the roadway."
Awful, 20 is no age to die, reminds me of the young student run down and killed in a crosswalk by a car exiting Washington circle in Foggy Bottom a couple of years ago. Only thing I can think would help is if DC DOT would speed up the timer on the light outside of rush hours so people aren’t waiting so long for the walk signal, plus making the scooter companies pay to educate riders by subsidizing e-scootering classes, like the WABA City cycling class. WABA or the local bike co-ops like yours would I’m sure be able to help suggest appropriate venues and instructors and come up with new drills for riding an e-scooter on sidewalks or in traffic.
 
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Ken M

Well-Known Member
These lawsuits are just efforts by lawyers to put money in their pockets. I really wish they were about right and wrong but everyone knows there is an element of danger when you ride a scooter or bike. Most drivers are not paying attention.
 

Dewey

Well-Known Member
I just got this service update from DC’s Capital Bikeshare, wonder if this also affects Motivate’s other programs in NYC and SF?
“Since Capital Bikeshare first deployed electric bikes last year, riders have taken thousands of rides and shared with us incredibly helpful and overwhelmingly positive feedback.

However, we recently received a small number of reports from riders who experienced stronger than expected braking force on the front wheel. Out of an abundance of caution, we are proactively removing the electric bikes from service for the time being. We know this is disappointing to the many people who love the current experience — but reliability and safety come first.

In the meantime, we will temporarily replace the electric bikes with pedal bikes.”
 

ebikemom

Administrator
Staff member
I see tons of bikeshare ebikes being pedaled around in our university area. Lots of smiles!
 

harryS

Well-Known Member
They are struggling to get success in other cities. Legal costs and battles galore, wiping out bottom lines. Jump's Chicago pilot ended with a quiet thud.
LYFT (which has never made any money) just purchased the outfit that leases Chicago's dock station Divvy Bikes (they lost $700K last year), and promises to refurbish the fleet (??) and also bring e-bikes to Chicago.

Well, if they do so, it's good exposure for ebikes
 

Mike's E-Bikes

Well-Known Member
and here we go. Not even a half day after I posted earlier today about how costly an ebike share business model is, Business Insider posts this article about City Bike having to YANK all of their electric bikes off the street, for who knows how long. PullEd from 3 cities is a LOT of lost revenue, and these sorts of mistakes can't keep happening for any of these ebike share businesses to survive. (P.S. Divvy bikes - regular style, non electric- bike share, uses drum brakes, and everyone complains they are too 'soft' (i.e. dont stop real quickly). Well thats by design, so no one goes over the front of the handle bars, and also drum brakes are enclosed, protecting from the weather, and dirt, and also much lower maintenance than disc brakes would be, or caliper brakes would be. So would you personally buy an ebike with drum brakes ???? No sireee. I wouldn't.

So what do you choose for brakes on a ebike, that can tolerate the abuse, the weather, be low maintenance, but we all know electrics will propel people faster than they can under their own power. The heavy, Divvy bikes, that are also single speed, just aren't going to be ridden that fast. So drum brakes are tolerable.

https://www.businessinsider.com/lyf...kes-off-streets-after-brake-complaints-2019-4

My forecast- Its going to prove not to be a tenable business model. (maybe will be done in controlled use environments, like campuses, or small resorts, but doubtful for big urban areas, which is really what the investors in this stuff are planning for - many many users so they can get big dollars.) The use factor (very short rides) simply doesn't justify electric, and electrics will never likely tolerate the renter mentality ("I don't own it, so I don't care") abuse, and regular weather and weather extremes without it being very costly. There are just so many little things like these brakes, that the business people trying these ebike share business models, haven't apparently contemplated, or addressed properly, (at least from the ebike shares I have seen) so its either going to eat them alive on costs, or they'll have to charge a lot more, and then people may not use them enough for the model to be sustainable.

Most electric bike users know to keep their ebikes garaged, and/or bring batteries in the house, and generally how to take good care of their ebikes, without abusing them. They work fine for personal use. But for public share use, its going to require an entirely different, and likely more expensive design. and the trade offs might not be enjoyed by the renters. Until then there (as always) are enough (naive) VC's willing to through big money at this sort of thing.
 
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ebikemom

Administrator
Staff member
Very interesting. The best thing to come out of all of these experiments may be the number of folks who have a chance to try out ebikes in a low-stakes kind of way, which will make them more aware of this as a future option for their own transportation needs. Most of the riders I see are young. Cars are expensive. Owning a personal ebikes may appeal as a way to transform mobility options for those who have had experience with bikeshare ebikes.
 

Mike's E-Bikes

Well-Known Member
Very interesting. The best thing to come out of all of these experiments may be the number of folks who have a chance to try out ebikes in a low-stakes kind of way, which will make them more aware of this as a future option for their own transportation needs. Most of the riders I see are young. Cars are expensive. Owning a personal ebikes may appeal as a way to transform mobility options for those who have had experience with bikeshare ebikes.
I would have thought that, before a couple who bought ebikes from me, said they would have never purchased an ebike after they tried Jumps ebike share. They said it was horrible. But they were at a friends house about 6 months after their bad experience, tried his ebike after he heard their story,and fortunately changed their minds. Their friend was one of my customers from two years ago.

I think it could go either way. Actual ebike owners letting people try theirs will probably always be the best case scenario for expanding the awareness and more people buying.
 

ebikemom

Administrator
Staff member
said they would have never purchased an ebike after they tried Jumps ebike share. They said it was horrible
!!!!!!! That's too bad!!!!

Actual ebike owners letting people try theirs will probably always be the best case scenario for expanding the awareness and more people buying.
I often offer folks a try on my bike... most turn me down!!!! But, a few have given it a try! :)