6. System Planning

The planning process really begins once the political will is in place and the feasibility report has been accepted — this is the point at which the system is ready to be designed and constructed. Or that is the case in an ideal world. In reality, the planning was probably done first, then adjusted to meet political and financial criteria, and then hopefully tweaked at the end to take user preferences and other core concepts into account. Whatever the case, this chapter and the following one suggest a path towards strategically planning a user-oriented system that can be expanded and has a great probability of success.

The photographs and figures below illustrate some of the aspects of the ‘System Planning’ chapter in the book Bicycle Sharing 101: Getting the Wheels Turning. They are meant to be viewed in the context of reading that chapter. 

CONTRIBUTE YOUR PEER REVIEW of this chapter. If you are an industry expert who has read the book, we would value your feedback.


ABOVE: London’s Barclays Cycle Hire uses a separate key, rather than being part of the Oyster system whose single card gives access to most of the city’s other transit systems, while China’s Hangzhou uses a single card for all transport options, including a water taxi.


ABOVE: This Barclays Cycle Hire terminal, set at a station on a quiet, cycling-friendly road, offers the potential first-time user the opportunity to spontaneously sign up, use a credit card to pay and ride away immediately.
FIG 1: By sharing the risk, each individual party takes on a small enough amount to justify a benefit they receive from the user being included in a system. Such an arrangement could look like this:




Operator More users and thus more income (from service levels attached to attracting more users) 33.3%
Governing Body Allowing greater access and acceptance from the general public 33.3%
Credit Banking Institution Signing up a new customer to potentially profitable other banking services 33.3%


ABOVE: The style and subject matter of this Barclays sign indicates that it is not just aimed at the elite in London society.


ABOVE: A Bixi terminal in Montreal becomes the target for unauthorized public art.


ABOVE: Clear educational material on the bike not only helps to prevent accidents, but would also presumably absolve the system of liability in certain eventualities.


ABOVE: In Melbourne, where helmets are required by law, users can purchase one by credit card from a vending machine nearby.


ABOVE: Integrated signage and/or transport maps seen in Osaka, Japan, and Guangzhou, China.

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