We have worked with countless communities, properties, and universities in implementing a bike share program. Here are six steps to follow when planning your bike share program. 

Purpose | Every bike share system has primary and secondary purposes. Identifying the actual need for a program is pivotal to setting the program up for success. Some programs enhance community wellness, while others promote local bike trail usage or provide an amenity to tourists during the high season. The purpose will help you identify locations, the size of the fleet, and the phases to deploy the project. Identifying the purpose will also help you later identify the best solution for your fleet. 

Funding | Identifying funding sources can help you identify the financial viability of your project. While the first year typically comes with one-time capital costs. You also need to take into consideration all the costs associated with the ongoing costs of a bike share program. Depending on your solution provider, these costs may be fixed annually, or they could be variable. Understanding the replacement costs of the bikes, locks, signs, decals, and other items all need to be taken into consideration. 

Partners | Local partnerships are critical to the success of the bike share program. Local businesses can be great partners when it comes to being financial partners. Local businesses can also be great advocates for the program in other ways. Hosting locations and providing services also to help maintain the program as well. Partners may also be neighboring communities. Regional partners can help quickly expand the program and provide a regional network to serve more people.

Phases | We typically see bike share programs deploy in phases over a couple of months and years. Financial resources typically determine the phases of the project. As you expand and usage starts to increase, new sponsors may look to join. Allowing you to expand your network and increase your fleet size. 

Solutions | Finding the right solution is pivotal to your success from launch to year five. Many solution providers provide multiple solutions, from simple software packages to turnkey service providers. Companies like Koloni allow you to change your service options from software to turnkey. Allowing you flexibility for you and your budget. Some important tools are… A strong operations application allows you to manage the fleet from your phone. Flexible modes of mobility also allow you to design a fleet specific to your community. Solutions from bike racks, smart locks, and software are all extremely important to deploying a successful program!

Champions | The best-performing bike share fleets have strong champions. These advocates will be supporters that will help promote the program at community events. Champions are those local volunteers who actively encourage everyone else to participate in new initiatives. Give these people free swag and promotional codes to share.