GPS Tracking Being Used by Dockless Bike Rental Companies

15 May 2018

Dockless bike rental companies have been big business in China for years and are now making their way onto distant shores in droves. Bike sharing programs are so popular in China that there are 1.5 million shared bikes located in Shanghai alone.

Some U.S. cities tried bike sharing opportunities in initial stages that failed miserably. Dockless bikes that utilize GPS tracking technology are changing the game and allowing private businesses to bear the brunt of the costs – and risks – associated with bike sharing programs.

Dockless bike rental options are good news for businesses. It means they are no longer required to set up costly stations or rent property from municipal governments to rent their bikes.

The nature of GPS tracking is helping to provide practical solutions for the bike rental organizations that go far beyond tracking the locations of their property.

The first hurdle GPS tracking helps overcome is access to the bicycles. People interested in renting these bicycles can unlock their rental bike with an app on their mobile phones.

Next, GPS tracking for dockless bike rental companies gives them the ability to track the locations of bikes that may not have been properly returned or to identify when one area of town is saturated with bicycles and other areas are being underserved. This means they can have employees or contractors go and pick up bicycles that need to be moved to locations where the demand outpaces the supply.

Third, Communities appreciate the thought behind bike rental programs for offering affordable transportation options for residents and visitors alike, encouraging people to become more active, and creating a convenient way of moving around downtown areas that reduce the traffic burden.

Finally, GPS tracking information can be shared with cities to provide unique insight into the flow of traffic, routing data, most heavily commuted areas, etc. to help cities when planning things like a new location for bike routes and lanes.

On the flip side of the argument, there are those who could successfully argue that stacks upon stacks of bicycles littering limited city sidewalks is creating eyesores throughout major cities as well as hazards for those who do walk on these, suddenly overcrowded, sidewalks.

GPS helps to substantially reduce that problem and some communities are considering imposing fines (or even impounding bicycles that become problems for over-crowding and tripping hazards for pedestrians.

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