Northampton’s Bikeshare Closes

Cycle CoNNect, a small Hourbike dock-based bikeshare system in Northampton, has closed last week.

The system launched in 2014 with council funding but had been run on a commercial basis since 2017. The system had become unsustainable after vandalism and increased operational costs.

It launched with 25 bikes, reaching a maximum of 46 bikes in spring 2018. At its closure it had 14 docking stations.

YoBike Pulls Out of Southampton

Yobike’s Southampton operating area after closure, with one remaining bike.

Yobike, a UK-based dockless bikeshare operator, has pulled out of Southampton, citing vandalism, following an announcement in mid-August. Their app shows the Southampton operating area remaining, but with just one bike nominally available. The service launched in September 2017.

The late summer seems to be a time of reckoning for dockless bikeshares in the UK, as the long vacation and warm weather encourage both high usage or, for poorly used systems, high vandalism rates. Yobike complained of vandalism problems in August last year.

The system reported 32000 rides in its first 11 months. It launched with a reported 300 bikes. This would suggest a rate of just 0.3 t/b/d (trips per bike per day). At launch they planned to eventually increase to 700 bikes. However, a February 2019 snapshot revealed just 33 bikes available.

Yobike remains operating in Bristol (below), with approximately 360 bikes available for hire currently. They reported around 300 trips (1 t/b/d) in the week after launch in May 2017. In June 2017 they reported 800 bikes and 1800 journeys/day but also vandalism issues. In March 2018 it reported 1000 bikes and 1500 journeys/day. They operate at £1/hour with a 50p discount for starting a journey out-of-zone:

Yobike BristolCasualAnnual Member
Membership Fee£0£39 (£29 for students)
Start Fee£0£0
Usage Fee£1/hour,
£5 max/day
£1/hour,
£5 max/day
Usage CreditN/A 2 x 1-hour rides/day
Out-of-Hub End Fee£5+£5+
Out-of-Hub Start Credit50p50p

Half-year memberships are also available. Maximum journey 24 hours.

Yobike’s continuing system in Bristol.

Exeter Co-Bikes Full Relaunch Today

The relaunch of Exeter’s Co-Bikes electric dock-based system has taken place today, following some previous operations the last few weeks. You can see the system live on Bike Share Map.

The new fee is:

Casual
Membership Fee£0
Start Fee£0
Usage Fee£1/20 minutes
Usage CreditN/A
Out-of-Hub End Fee£24+
Out-of-Hub Start CreditN/A

Journeys from 8-24 hours are capped at £24. Maximum hire is 24 hours – bikes hired for longer are assumed lost and the user is charged a hefty penalty.

Just Eat Cycles Sees Record Hires During Edinburgh Festival Month

Edinburgh Just Eat Cycles journeys in August 2019.

Edinburgh‘s Just Eat Cycles has reported a record month in August, the month during which the Edinburgh Fringe and Edinburgh International Festival takes place and the capital’s population significantly increases. The system launched in September last year, just too late for the previous Fringe/Festival month. This month, the system managed 17,529 rides, with around 400 bikes available through the month across 70 docking stations. This represents around 1.5 trips per bike per day (t/b/d). The system including the above graphic showing routes taken. Just Eat Cycles has since added some additional bikes in, in early September, and now has around 500 available.

Just Eat Cycles publishes its trip and availability data as open data. The Trip data is published within a day of the trips happening, an impressively quick turnaround. They also publish regular maps showing routes taken. The above map, for August, includes at least one trip to Edinburgh Airport and another trip to Cramond Island (accessible by a causeway only at low tide). The former doesn’t have a docking station so journeys incur an out-of-station fee, but the journey may still have been cheaper than tram/parking surcharges. The latter does at least have a docking station nearby, back on the mainland.

Monthly journeys, bikes and average trips/bike/day for Edinburgh, so far:

MonthTrips*Avg BikesTrips/Bike/Day
September 2018** 22771401.1
October 201837991860.7
November 201840473020.5
December 201836623600.3
January 201947502330.7
February 201942221081.4
March 201965493410.6
April 201981764410.6
May 2019141602581.8
June 2019102142431.5
July 2019122903091.3
August 2019175293861.5

* Journeys on the last day of the month are normally missing from the trips data.
** Launched mid-month.

Hopefully Edinburgh will get to 2 t/b/d soon – a figure which is, very roughly, is a good benchmark for a well used, long-term-viable system. Edinburgh’s design means it can very easily move docking stations around, to adjust to corridors of good use (and low vandalism), although this has to be balanced against the frustration of loyal users finding their docking station has gone.

Bournemouth & Poole See Good Bikeshare Usage During Festival

Bournemouth and Poole’s Beryl Bikes system is reporting 2500 journeys on their fleet during the four days of the Bournemouth Air Festival. In time, the system is planned to have around 1000 bikes, however currently it has around 250 bikes available so this suggests an average of 2.5 journeys/bike/day. These are encouraging numbers, similar to what is seen in London’s Santander Cycles system and possibly larger than any other system in the UK apart from nearby Brighton, showing that the south coast of England is a bit of a winner for bikeshare systems.

It does also suggest that Beryl might have “cracked” how to make a commercially viable, affordable and sustainable mid-size system. Beryl Bikes are dock-based, but the docks are simply painted on the ground.