Along with the huge benefits of dockless bike sharing come three primary challenges
THEFT AND VANDALISM OF BIKES
Since bikes are not locked to a fixed object, there is concern that bikes will be stolen and damaged. To mitigate this, there are security measures installed on the bike, including GPS location tracking, an alarm which goes off if the bikes are tampered with and custom made parts which will not be of much use to private bikes, thus tricky to sell. Anyone who steals these bikes will be disappointed. The cost of any lost or damaged bikes is borne by Urbo and as in any commercial venture, 'wastage' is an element of the business plan.
PARKING OF BIKES
Regulating users’ behaviour is crucial. We do this via a User Credit System (free rides for good behaviour/bans for bad behaviour). The app comes with an interactive reporting system, which leverages off the fact we know the details of the current and most recent rider. This means the users know they are being 'watched', which will encourage good behaviour, just like with rating systems on websites such as Air BnB. Guiding users to ride bikes the right way fosters the sectors integrity. Behaviours such as random parking and nonstandard riding have a negative influence on public order. Random parking not only encroaches on public resources but also causes disputes. A designated team of wardens who will enforce users behaviour will augment our User Credit System. These wardens will act as a type of 'bike police'. As with any mode of transport that is new to the public, there will be initial irregularities, but with collaboration between all parties the system will regulate. When cars first came on the scene there was chaos...now we have car parks, yellow lines, etc. Urbo wishes to fully engage with local councils to provide adequate parking. This can be done via geo-fencing and/or designated parking spaces (often in replacement of car park spaces due to the decrease in car traffic as cycling becomes more popular).
What may at first seem almost counterintuitive, dockless bike sharing users are shown to have a better overall safety record than the general cycling public. This is explained by “safety in numbers”, as people increase their awareness of cyclists due to the notable increase in numbers of them. Urbo launch a public safety campaign when entering each city, which is augmented with continuous campaigns via the media and in collaboration with the relevant Road Safety Authority. Our bike components are sourced from around the world to ensure we provide a world class and safe product. Whether it's our hand grips from Scandinavia or our Irish designed bike frames, our bikes have a true European design flavour and fit. Designing the bikes from the ground up we have made sure to meet the highest of European bike safety standards EN ISO 4210- 1:2014. We have a team of bike experts with over 30 years industry experience who ensure all our bikes are lightweight yet safe, suitable for everyday city use. There is lighting equipment on all bicycles, with continuous maintenance of all elements of the bike. Urbo has public liability insurance covering all bike hires for injury to a third party or accidental damage.