Enterprises UP successfully completes bike share pilot project

Posted on August 28, 2019

The Department of Public Service and Administration commissioned the City of Tshwane together with Enterprises University of Pretoria (Enterprises UP) to conduct a bike share pilot project in the Hatfield precinct. The aim of the project was to determine the overall feasibility of a bike-sharing scheme and to also assist local authorities with information that may improve the overall public transport service delivery options for enhanced citizen access and mobility.

Bike-sharing has become a fast-growing trend in major world metros and is considered a convenient, affordable and practical mode of transport, while also not forgetting the health benefits it offers.  Non-motorised transport also presents the opportunity to reduce congestion and decrease negative environmental effects such as air and noise pollution.

The project utilised standard and e-bikes to test user preference

The project was rolled out in a controlled environment between LC de Villiers Sports Ground and UP’s Hatfield Campus. The main bicycle station was situated at the sports ground at a dedicated and secure kiosk. The location was informed by its proximity to student residences, security considerations as well as the existing park-and-ride facility. The location allowed bicycle users to commute to and from class or the office and the station was managed by unemployed young people who were trained in bicycle care and maintenance.

The project utilised standard and electric bicycles (e-bikes) to test user preference and practical roll-out dynamics associated with such an operational configuration. An e-bike is similar to a standard bicycle but is fitted with a battery and a motor that gives the user the option to have motorised power when needed, e.g. on inclines or for longer than regular commutes.

To access the bicycles, the users made use of the Bike Sharing Management App to register and make bookings. A GPS tracking device was installed on each bicycle to also relay telemetry on routes, trip duration, etc.

One bicycle user described the e-bike as “enjoyable and fun”.

“The project made a difference to a lot of people”, said another user.

There was significant demand for the bike-sharing service towards the end of the project and even some unexpected entrepreneurial collateral when certain users started using the bicycles to deliver food parcels for a fee.

Visit our website for more information on Enterprises UP’s wide scope of research and advisory services or upcoming short courses or send an email to Jaco Snyman at [email protected].

- Author Kgabo Mathekga

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