Despite the blooming success of dockless bikes, the system isn’t perfect.
Dockless, shared bikes are a blooming new business in cities all around the world. However, the business is a tricky one and there are several problems that have held it back. Chinese bike-sharing app Mobike recently reported in a blog that they’ve lost 205,600 bicycles.
Mobike has been experiencing the downsides of the new bike-sharing industry. The company had to shut down its operations in Manchester city over several incidents that made doing business there not worth it. The company has received multiple reports of theft and vandalism. The bikes are handled within an app, but this doesn’t help avoid all cases of theft or damage. Mobike has since re-branded to Meituan Bike, and they have sent out a thank you to their over 189,000 users that reported damaged or stolen bikes.
Unlike many bike-sharing apps, Meituan Bike uses a credit system that rewards responsible bike use. It also imposes punishments for poor behavior. Certain behaviors, such as theft, can lead to a user being banned and reported to the police. The Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau has in fact arrested 2,600 people over bike theft and vandalism on Meituan Bike bicycles.
Bike-sharing platforms like Meituan Bike are meant for short trips across town. Unfortunately, users have been known to simply take the bikes home, or to throw them out. Some bikes have even been found in rivers and canals.