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Bikeshare Still Searching for Profit

In Seattle, where bikes can be rented for as little as $2, rental fees don't cover most of the costs associated with bik share.
February 15, 2018, 12pm PST | Casey Brazeal | @northandclark
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Seattle Bikeshare
Paul Brady Photo

There are several options for bikeshare in Seattle, but it's unlikely that any are making profits yet. "When I rent a bike, I’m one of probably two to three people who will rent the bike in a day. That means the bike I rent will bring in a few dollars a day for the bike sharing company," writes Joshua McNichols for KOUW. This especially true of rentals in the market that are sometimes as cheap as $2.

Still these services have their eyes on other sources of revenue. "Investors are pouring money into bike share companies," McNichols reports. Limebike has raised 62 million and Ofo has 1.3 billion in investment from Alibaba. These investors see potential revenue streams in city money that might pay to support these services in their cities and ad revenue that could be placed on the bikes or the apps used to get those bikes. If these other revenue streams don't emerge, this service for sustainable transit might not be a sustainable business model.

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Published on Thursday, February 8, 2018 in KUOW
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