“We are no longer just a bike shop. We’re becoming a solution to urban transportation problems.”
That poignant sentiment was shared with us recently by the GM of Gears Bike Shop in Toronto, and it’s being driven home this month thanks to a couple of eye-opening articles that detail the efficiency of urban cycling in major cities around the world.
The first, released in the July, 2017 issue of Transportation Research, focuses on the difference in travel time between cars and bicycles in New York City. According to the study, during peak weekday hours in 2014 cycling tended to be either faster or comparable to travel by car for trips under 3 kilometers in distance. Considering the fact that most trips made by taxi fall within the 3-k radius, that’s a noteworthy statistic for New York commuters.
It’s also worth pointing out that the the data that was used for this study was pulled from Citi Bike users. It’s likely that more experienced riders with lighter bikes would have clocked in even faster times.
Is Your Shop Ready to Meet the Demands of Modern Urban Cycling?
Similarly, Mobike’s recently-released white paper on bike sharing in China shows just how dramatic the urban cycling landscape has changed on the other side of the Pacific. In cities like Beijing and Shanghai, bike usage has more than doubled in the past year, coming in at 11.6% nationally. And as with New York, transportation by bike+public transport is faster than transportation by car for over 90% of trips under 5 kilometers in distance.
So what does this mean for bike service providers? Well, as ride-hailing apps like Uber and Lyft continue to bleed public transportation ridership and add to the woes of on-street traffic, it’s a safe bet that urban commuters will be looking for even more efficient, alternative modes of transportation to help break the gridlock.
If your shop hasn’t started looking for ways to tap into the growing demand for short-term bike rentals, perhaps this is the wake up call you’ve been looking for.