The self-service bike success story: 13 years that have durably changed urban travel and improved the quality of city living
Paris, 1 st February 2017. Who would have imagined in 2003, when JCDecaux was rolling out its very first self-service bike rental scheme in Vienna, Austria, that only thirteen years later this very system would not only have become a new mode of travel but also a new way of city living? It is currently estimated that many cities of all sizes around the world now have their own self-service bike rental scheme, a development that has boosted the number of people cycling and in turn the delivery of complementary public policies, helping to transform the way that people travel.
With more than 570 million bike journeys taken since 2003 and nearly 72 million in 2016 alone, the JCDecaux-pioneered self-service bike rental scheme is now a feature of the urban landscape in 13 countries, available 24/7 thanks to our 600 employees who work tirelessly to offer unrivalled quality service. From Vilnius, Lithuania to Toulouse, France and from Seville, Spain to the Russian steppes of Kazan, JCDecaux's self-service bike rental schemes stand out because of their large networks and ease of use. These schemes are now a great transport option, complementing and often substituting other modes of transportation. The schemes have been well-received in each city, for example, more than 12% of Parisians have an annual subscription to Vélib', JCDecaux's self-service bike rental scheme in Paris. All over the world, we see a remarkable connection with this pleasant mode of transportation: whether it is the messages of thanks left on bikes for JCDecaux staff in Dublin, Ireland or weddings planned around the self-service scheme in many European cities.
Today, more than 3.9 million people a year travel by bike by hiring one of the 52,000 bikes available in 70 cities, covering a total surface area of more than 10,000 Km², the equivalent of a country such as Gambia or Lebanon.
This success is international, but the users and methods differ in each country and in each city. While 60% of total subscribers are men, there are two cities with an equal number of male and female subscribers, Ljubljana, Slovenia and Santander, Spain. Vilnius in Lithuania and Greater Lyon in France have the youngest subscriber base with over 70% under the age of 35, while the average age of subscribers in Toyama, Japan is 47. From the age of 14 to over 75, the JCDecaux self-service bike rental scheme is suitable for everyone.
The average journey distance of each hire is 2.2 km. Toulouse inhabitants boasts the most avid users, with nearly 120 journeys a year per subscriber. Many now travel only by bike, for example, in Paris, France and Valencia, Spain users take an average of over seven trips a day.
The self-service bike rental scheme has a very loyal user base, with 90% of trips taken by nearly 700,000 annual subscribers worldwide. The scheme has taken root among a very diverse public; take Khadim for instance, a window cleaner in Marseilles, the scheme is ideally suited to his daily activity involving several short trips around the city centre. 3.2 million occasional users also use the scheme, for professional reasons and for leisure - visiting, (re)discovering the city, shopping, etc. A differentiating feature of JCDecaux's bike rental scheme is that it is open to everyone, both visitors and residents, seasoned cyclists and first-timers.
But this adventure is only beginning! The use of our services, already among the highest in the world, continues to grow. In Greater Lyon, France for example, the service has grown by an average of 15% a year since 2010.
On the back of this unrivalled international experience, our teams continue to envision the future of the self-service bike. One of the most symbolic innovations of JCDecaux's drive towards eco-friendly and user-friendly cities is the battery-powered bike, a current development that will make city travel easier, more fluid and more broadly accessible. In addition to bike rental, a second revolutionary aspect of the self-service scheme is travel services for users, including journey planning and personalised services via mobile devices and applications. These initiatives are a response to the expectations expressed by users of our self-service bike rental schemes all over the world.
Finally, the schemes are also an economic and social success story; every time a JCDecaux self-service bike rental scheme is deployed, jobs are created at JCDecaux and individual bike sales increase.
Jean-Charles Decaux, Chairman of the Executive Board and Co-CEO of JCDecaux , said: " We are very proud that once again we have pioneered a service that has profoundly changed the city landscape, just like we did with the bus shelter in 1964. The success of our self-service bike rental schemes confirms a steadily growing popularity among users of user-friendly and eco-friendly modes of transport. Thanks to the dedication of the JCDecaux teams, which ensure rigorous maintenance and optimised regulation of all systems on a daily basis, five self-service bikes are being hired every two seconds around the world. With this innovative scheme, which resulted from an overall analysis of travel options and quality of urban life, JCDecaux has reinvented cycling in cities. It made cycling a real alternative form of transport that complements all existing public transport networks, meeting the needs of local communities with a sustainable solution, through a virtuous business model that protects their budgets, by providing a public service funded by advertising. This success reinforces our position as world leader in self-service bike rental schemes, inspiring us with even greater energy and creativity in our drive to further revolutionise sustainable travel in the months and years ahead."
Key Figures for JCDecaux
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