If you’re celebrating the end of oBikes, be prepared for something much worse
news.com.au is an Australian news and entertainment website owned by News Corp Australia. It specialises in breaking national and international news as well as ebikes and entertainment, sport, lifestyle, travel, technology and finance.
("THEY’RE the yellow blights cramming footpaths and hanging from trees. They’ve been booted out of Melbourne, but this is not the end of the share-bike scourge."):
https://www.news.com.au/finance/busines ... 2795a500a9
VICTORY! Australia has won a decisive battle against the invasion.
oBike, the Singaporean bicycle sharing company whose yellow bicycles appeared in Sydney Adelaide and especially Melbourne in the past 12 months, has waved the white flag in the Victorian captial and surrendered. It will retreat from the city, bitter and bruised.
Melburnians decided the bicycles were the enemy, and fought an insurgent war against them. They threw oBikes into the river and the bay, or hung them from trees. People will generally treat pubic property with less respect than private property, but this went beyond that. Many Melburnians resented the bicycles — many of which fell over when parked — cluttering footpaths. Too often the bikes were in a state of disrepair and resembled little more than rubbish.
WATT UBER AND FACEBOOK HAVE IN COMMON
Bike share companies are learning from Uber. Uber needs lots of drivers all over the place to be useful to customers. Meanwhile, the more customers it has, the more drivers want to work for it.
We call this a network effect. The most classic example of the network effect is the telephone. As you can imagine, it was hard to sell the very first one — there was nobody to call. But as the network of people with a telephone got bigger and bigger, having a telephone became more and more useful.
Network effects explain facebook too. Nobody wants to join a social network that nobody else is using, so we pile into Mark Zuckerberg’s social network, whether we like it or not. The more people in the network, the higher the value of the network.
FLIP TO THE BIRD
The next share bike invasion may not be a share bike at all. In the USA, electric scooters have come out of nowhere in the last few months. The companies are backed by hundreds of millions of dollars of venture capital money and the scooters are suddenly all over big American cities.
I suspect the electric scooter is more than a fad. It has some major strengths the shared bike does not, and not arriving all sweaty is only one of them.
• Standing is better than sitting for people in skirts or suits (modesty/ pedalling could erode your nice trousers.)
• Scooters are lighter and easier to lift up steps or over the kerb if needed. Lower weight also means less battery-power is needed.
• Easier to mount/dismount: feels safer in traffic if you want to leap off.
One big problem with the electric scooter business is making sure the scooters get charged. For now, the company pays a bounty of about $10 to $20 every time someone takes a scooter back to their house and plugs it in. That can lead to some weird behaviour, as in this next video.
ES changed my life (for the waaaaay better).
Eff. June, 2014 Phoenix Ebike Promotions
(Current ride? High speed lawn chair.)
Phoenix Ebike Promotions conversion kit (work in progress. More drink holders, etc etc)
Joined yer local chapter of EA yet?
(Ebikers Anonymous - Where we're all miserable failures, but the parties are hilarious...)