On the Pitfalls of Dockless Bikeshare
With two Chinese companies leading the charge, dockless bikeshare is popping up in cities the world over. New York City, San Francisco, and Washington D.C. are all experimenting with the technology. But there are potential pitfalls. Dominic Rushe writes, "Unlike docking rental services, which require bikes to be returned to a fixed docking station, you can leave your ride wherever your journey ends, practically. And therein lies the problem."
Large-scale dockless bikeshare is vulnerable to vandals and thieves, and legitimate riders have little reason to treat the ubiquitous bikes well. "In China, where there are some 16 million shared bikes on the street and MoBike alone now has over a million, the authorities have been forced to clear up ziggurats of discarded bikes."