Cake
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    • I think our city is about as advanced as any — Mountain View, CA, where Google has its HQ and self-driving cars are everywhere.

      When Ofo raised a billion dollars, deployed 10 million bikes, and skipped town leaving their yellow bikes behind two years ago, I thought lesson learned.

      But last year Lime raised $765 million and deployed bikes all over our city. They just left. At least they took their bikes.

      👆Now the city is looking for another bike rental company to come in. 😳 Far as I can tell, these Ofos at our local high school haven't been touched in a year. Anyone want them?

    • These companies were able to raise $1.75 billion for a service that apparently wasn't really desired or needed? Really?? Like Robert said " Wow!!"

      Makes we wonder if maybe the price of money is way too low eg: interest rates?

    • To me this is an example of winner takes all market, where venture capitalists throw insane piles of money to outbid the competition. The reasoning is that most consumers don't really care what bike to rent to ride in the neighborhood. The first bike available at a reasonably cheap price will do. Since renting a bike also involves installing an app on their phones (to pay and find bikes) that action automatically locks them into the platform.

      A common use case is seeing two bikes parked on the same bike rack from two competing brands. You are much likely to avoid the pain of install yet another app, setting up a profile and pay for a bike if you already have one of them. The difference in price is negligible.

    • Somewhere I read a review of one of the VCs who invested in Bird, the electric scooter rental company that started in Santa Monica. The guy who started it had been an exec at Uber and Lyft.

      Here's the thing: they started in September of 2017 and by the end of 2018 they had expanded into something like 100 cities and people had purchased 10 million rides on them. They had raised $715 million and had a $2 billion valuation.

      The VCs are all about growth and one VC who invested in them said you never get to see companies who grow that fast. It only takes one investment to make their whole fund and they figure this may be it.

      I don't know if the scooter rental craze is a little bit fad or not.

    • Can bike shares be a profit center for municipalities?

      Citi Bike works amazingly well in NYC (it seems). There are Citi branded bikes and racks to park them everywhere. Maybe a business model is leasing bikes to cities, providing fleet management support and helping them see a neutral if not positive revenue stream for the city.

      I'm sure Citi Bank is paying a nice sum to NYC every year for the pleasure of having their name on the bikes... and it's ubiquitous here. Who needs billboards when you can have a branded bike every few blocks that people LOVE using. Win Win Win.

    • IMHO, until the Amerikan culture adopts protected passage like Copenhagen, your average Amerikan feels more safe in their SUV. I could guess the Citibank bikes are actually losing money net net but it is a worthy marketing expenditure.

      The City of Las Vegas has gone to sizeable expense to try and make our downtown bike rental friendly.....but, I know they are losing money big time. Most of it is the streets are not safe for inexperienced cyclists and the other part is 30% of our calendar is much hotter than most people would want to ride in.

      But, I am convinced if we had protected non-motorized pathways throughout the downtown corridor, we would have a growing abundance of walkers which would inspire cycling eventually. E-bikes make it easier for the masses but the added cost to an already "in-the-red" budget makes it hard to justify.

    • But, I am convinced if we had protected non-motorized pathways throughout the downtown corridor, we would have a growing abundance of walkers which would inspire cycling eventually. E-bikes make it easier for the masses but the added cost to an already "in-the-red" budget makes it hard to justify.

      I think the e-bikes might get more commuters on board. My #1 reason for not biking the 25 blocks from my apartment to the office is I run HOT when i'm doing excercise or biking even at a casual pace.

      I don't want to sweat but if I could jump on the e-bike I would do that over the subway or uber commute most of the time.

    • That's a fascinating thought. In our city of Mountain View, CA, Lime bikes pulled out because they say they're focusing on scooters, which they believe are faster growing and more profitable. But our city doesn't allow electric scooter rental companies, at least not yet. The city says they are looking for another company to partner with for ebike rentals.

      Poking around on Google to find out which cities have succeeded in bike sharing despite the vandalism problems, etc., Paris seems to rank way up there. Apparently the long-term mayor of Paris considers their program one of his greatest political successes.

    • Yeah, the safety thing... Our city has bike lanes everywhere but they are not protected from cars wandering into them. In our peaceful residential neighborhood with wide roads a couple months ago, a jogger one block from my house was hit from behind as he jogged in a bike lane (where I jog several times a week). The residents said he was very messed up but alive when the paramedics took him away.

      Then last week a cyclist was killed in a bike lane two blocks from my house. 😔Our neighborhood is swarming with self-driving cars and we joggers and cyclists feel so much safer around them. They don't look down at their phones to text and swerve into the bike lanes.