Who would have thought that going green, you know, being more environmentally considerate, could be good for your business in the short term? Well that is exactly what you could get with advertisements on none other than a bike. If not there yet, than sure to come to a city near you is a bike share program that is quickly popping up in most large US cities. Coast to coast and north to south, many cities are adopting bike share programs to not only help keep down fuel emissions and gas cost but also to promote good health. While all of these reasons are great on a personal level, we can learn a lot from this program on a business level also.
First started in The Netherlands (Amsterdam) in 1965 the project that had nothing but good intentions soon failed do to vandalism and stolen bikes. Like most things, as technology evolved so did bike sharing programs internationally. As a solution to the vandalism/theft problem, Portsmouth, UK, installed electronic bike racks in the 1990’s. In addition to the electronic racks were smart cards which for a small fee allowed a renter to access the bicycles without anonymity. If the bike came back damaged in any way or didn’t come back at all than the renter was charged a fee for the damaged property. The other component to the program that aided in its success was the installation of cameras that monitored the bike racks 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. Once the program was proven to be a success with some minor changes, it was slowly but surely adopted all over the world. China, Australia and the US now have bike shares programs. In preparation for the 2012 DNC (Democratic National Convention) the city of Charlotte installed bike share racks all around downtown Charlotte, NC so that the millions of people that swarmed the city would have transportation options. So what can we learn from this program in terms of business? Continue reading