bike sharing service

In going greener, countries all over the world have come up with many creative solutions. One can consider a bike sharing service as one of them. Some people even use these services for their daily commute. 

What is a bike sharing service? – In simple terms, a bike sharing solution is a service where people can rent bicycles. There are multiple stations installed everywhere, and people can simply rent a bike from there. The bike can then either be returned to the same station it was taken from or some other station.

Mobile Bike Sharing

mobile bike sharing

Lately, a new trend of bike sharing has come up. UsersUsing mobile bike sharing, users can easily track down the nearby available bike and their docking station via a simple app using mobile bike sharing. How is this possible? By using the bike’s inbuilt Global Positioning System (GPS).

Once the user is done using a bike, he/she can simply park it somewhere. They can even pay for it online. Some other users can then find the bike and use it for their journey. Such services are led by companies such as Mobike and Ofo.

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Essential Features Of A Bike Sharing Solution

The last few years have been witnesses to the growth of bike-sharing apps and solutions. But what features make them better than the rest? Let us have a look:

#1 Finding A Bike

One essential feature that any bike sharing service must offer is the ability to spot a bike nearby. As we have read above, using the magic of GPS, people should be able to spot a nearby bike and use it rather than travelling to far-off stations.

This is one of the primary features as it attracts more people into using the service.

#2 Locking And Unlocking The Bike

The bikes get locked automatically for obvious safety reasons. But as soon as a customer is willing to use the locked bike, they should unlock it using the app.

One way of doing so can be by scanning the QR code available on the bike. This is the easiest way to lock and unlock the bike, as all it takes is a simple scan. Hence, startups must add this feature to their bike sharing solution.

#3 Payment

The payment procedure in your bike sharing service should be as simple as possible. The minute you involve hassle, you lose customers.

After spotting and unlocking the bike, the next step that comes is payment for the ride. By enabling an in-app payment method, users can pay for the ride with a single tap. Another added feature can be linking the app with other e-wallets. From there, the user can set a fixed amount in the app as a deposit, and as and when they take a ride, the app can automatically deduct the amount payable.

#4 Checking-Out Trip Details

Something that every traveller wants is to check out their trip details after finishing a ride. These details can include factors such as:

  • Kilometres/miles travelled
  • Areas covered
  • Travelling speed
  • Map view

#5 Booking In Advance

The most comfortable feature in any on-demand service can be booking in advance. The same goes for bike sharing service. Your bike sharing solution must allow the users to book their rides in advance. 

This will be beneficial for people going to offices, colleges or schools. It can help them reach their destination on time.


Benefits of a bike sharing service

bike sharing solution

Less Pollution

Bike-sharing apps have a significant impact on public health. They can increase transit use, decrease greenhouse gases and lead to an increased cycling population. Bike-sharing programs are reducing air pollution by reducing the number of automated bikes that are used. 

Bikes are also the perfect option for tourists who want to be green. They produce no emissions and are a great way to explore a new city or country with fresh air. It is also less expensive.


Bike share systems are a convenient way to get around when travelling in big cities. They offer a better solution than public transportation for those who want to commute to an office in the town since public transportation is often unavailable or hard to access.

Bike-sharing apps can end the problem of going from point A to point B and will offer a new transportation alternative for that last leg of the commute.


The new bike-transit trips have made it easier to get around without a car by improving connectivity to other transit modes. Bike-sharing helps with the first-mile/last-mile solution and decreases personal vehicle trips.

These programs support an ecologically friendly transportation alternative that will help the environment by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The programs encourage people to use bicycles for daily errands like activity classes, work, visiting the city or even commuting.

Less traffic

The primary goal of the bicycle sharing system is to reduce traffic congestion. This is especially important in large urban areas, where there are always more cars on the road than there are parking spots.

A study on Washington, D.C.’s Capital Bikeshare has found that the bike-sharing programs have contributed a 3 to 5% reduction in traffic congestion.

Growing market

The usage of bicycles has experienced a rapid increase in recent years. In 2013, there were only 700,000 public-use bikes in circulation worldwide. Today, that number has grown to over 3.5 million!

Also, by 2016, the number of bike-sharing programs in China had tripled to 2.3 million. The primary source of this growth is China, which saw 430 public bike-sharing programs implemented in 2016.

Which Is The Best Bike Sharing Service?

bike sharing

As the bike-sharing fame continues to grow, even mobility giants such as Lyft and Uber are profusely investing in it.

So with so much competition, which is the best bike sharing service in the market currently? We have picked the top 5 contenders for you:


Founded in: 2015

Headquarters in: China
Operates in: approx 200 global cities

By owning and operating the most significant number of bikes, Mobike has single-handedly made Shanghai the most extensive bike sharing service operator in the world.

It was founded by Beijing Mobike technology and had a completely stationless bike-sharing system. Their bikes are mostly run via the procedure of QR code scanning.

Mobike started expanding internationally in the year 2017 when it expanded its reach to Singapore. Ever since then, their global outreach has extended to 15 countries.

Their current value is around $3 billion. 


Founded in: 2017

Headquarters in: San Mateo, California

Operates in: The USA, Europe (Bremen, Frankfurt, Paris, and Zurich)

Formally known as Lime Bike, Lime owns and operates a bike and scooter-sharing platform in several locations. The cost breakup for its services is as follows:

  • For a traditional bike – $1 for 30 minutes
  • For electric alternatives – $1 for unlocking and after that 15 cents per one minute.

Lime also follows a dockless system and relies on its mobile application for unlocking the bikes. After receiving funding of $335 million, Lime marked its name as a unicorn company by achieving a $1 billion valuation.

JUMP Bikes

Founded in: 2010

Headquarters in: Brooklyn, New York

Operates in: 40 cities globally

JUMP Bikes is a bike sharing solution that offers various bicycles, including traditional and electric models. The bikes are unlocked via the JUMP App, which provides over 15,000 bikes in 40 cities. This summer, Uber acquired JUMP bikes for an undisclosed amount of money. The company announced that it is planning to expand its service in Europe, starting with the launch of the service in Washington D.C. in September 2017.

Users will now be able to rent bikes directly through the Uber app, filling the transportation behemoth’s first and last-mile gap. JUMP has alleviated many competitors’ issues by developing dock-based units that don’t leave abandoned bikes clogging up city streets.


Founded in: 2009

Headquarters in: New York

Operates in: Nine states in the USA

Motivate is a bike sharing service in North America, with 2 million members and 26.5 million trips per year. The company is owned by Lyft, which is considered Uber’s main rival in the mobility sphere. Motivate’s goal is to provide a sustainable, healthy transportation system and currently operates in nine states across the United States. They work with a variety of different solutions, such as Citibike, which runs in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and Jersey City.

Motivate has formed beneficial partnerships with many local governments to establish their bike sharing solutions ahead of competitors. They have also partnered with various organisations to help build more bike lanes and make urban areas more environmentally friendly.


Founded in: 2014

Headquarters in: China

Operates in: 12 countries

Founded in 2014 by five students from the University of Beijing, ofo was created because of the similarity between a person riding a bicycle and driving a car. With the help of a Perking University alumnus, the company launched in Beijing in October and gained more than 20,000 users by December after one year.

Ofo is one of the world’s first and largest station free bike-share companies. With over 10 million bikes in 20 countries and 62 million users, Ofo has set out to make car-free living more accessible. 

In 2018, Ofo struggled to maintain its service offerings in Australia, Austria, and more. That’s because the company only ordered 80,000 bikes instead of the expected five million units.

Ofo has announced that it will be withdrawing from some international locations, including London and some unspecified US cities. According to an Ofo spokesperson: “The withdrawal is not representative of the broader market.”

Creating a Bike Sharing website or solution

bike sharing

Launching your bike share can be quick and easy when you take the proper steps. If you are planning for a bike sharing solution development, here’s how to get started:

Step 1: Selecting your preferred model type

If you’re thinking about starting a fleet of bikes, you should first consider your business model. Public-sharing fleets are typical city-wide open rental schemes that allow anyone to find your bike on the street and take it off (as we have already read above). Under a private B2B model, you’re renting exclusively to turnkey solutions through businesses like hotels, apartment buildings and private campuses.

Step 2: Picking hardware

There are many factors to consider when choosing the proper hardware for your business model. You need to think about speed, style, and what city you want your business to be in.

Your bike should be robust, easy to maintain and should not have easily removable parts (like the seat post). The main types of bikes are e-bikes, mechanical /push bikes and cargo bikes.

For example, e-bikes are more durable for rocky terrains, while mechanical bikes pose fewer entry barriers for riders. Ensure that your bike is in top shape for the season by checking if you need additional hardware like locks, lights, and charging stations.

Step 3: Choosing IoT

Bike-share programs depend on IoT integration and bike locks that connect to the internet through GPS and Bluetooth to create a system of tracking and monitoring. Some IoT is embedded with Bluetooth and GPS, while some e-bikes have built-in hardware that makes them compatible with the Internet of Things. New bike locks are now IoT integrated with a standard ring lock or U lock.

Step 4: App Development

Your app solution must be hardware-agnostic, meaning it should be easy to integrate with any IoT solution. Another thing to consider is being compatible with both ios and Android as both the brands hold different market share.

( learn more about app market trends here: )

The app must contain basic features such as real-time alerts, GPS integration, push notifications, QR code scanners, and an online payment system. 

(for more details, tap here: )

Step 5: Permits

When it comes to bike-share permits and insurance requirements, some cities are very strict about the process. 

When the city requires your bike-sharing program permits, you’ll need to provide details around the fleet size and parking protocol. Where the bikes are stored will also depend on whether or not this is necessary.

Step 6: Get going!

With your hardware, software, and logistics all set up, the last thing you need to do before pressing play is to make sure your business mandate and marketing plans are ready to go.


Ready for launch?

Cycling has become a popular form of transport and is currently the fastest-growing mode of urban transportation. Bike share services have spread like wildfire globally, with more than 1,000 companies participating in this industry.

Bikes are an excellent option for those who want to help with global climate change, but not all bikes are created equal. If you’re interested in developing your bike sharing service, we can help you out.

Idea Usher being a leading iOS and Android app development company, we can help you develop a successful bike-sharing app like Ofo or Mobike. We offer an exclusive range of features and are available for consultation.

With many completed custom apps (have a look: ) for bike-sharing businesses and a team of experienced developers, we can help take your business to the next level.

We’re here to help you. Get in touch with us via a free consultation call if you’re still puzzled about the mobile app development cost breakdown for your e-scooter app.

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