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Six developments we can expect in the transport sector in 2018

1. The bike-sharing revolution will enter its next phase

Over the last twelve months we’ve seen a number of dockless bike-sharing companies make a concerted move on the Europe market. Ofo, Mobike and oBike might not be household names yet, but they have bold ambitions and plenty of capital behind them. So what will the next twelve months mean for the bike-sharing revolution in Europe? Based on scale requirements and funding, as the months wear on, I think we’ll see bike-sharing schemes begin to consolidate. Theirs is a careful balancing act, as firms will need to keep both local authorities and customers as sweet as possible. Availability and upkeep of bikes, as well as high quality real-time data showing accurate locations, will be deciders in the race to gain dominance in each market. The novelty factor will begin to wear thin and customers will become increasingly discerning about the bikes they choose.

The arrival of electric bikes is also expected, along with other shared services such as mopeds and scooters. Combined with the expansion of bike-sharing schemes outside of towns and cities, this will likely add further complexity for local authorities, so expect to see more locked horns while legislation plays catch up with technology. Also, look for possible new entrants into the bike-sharing market, such as the existing ride hailing players.

2. Car-sharing schemes will open their data to help them scale more quickly

Expect to see the car sharing market – which has maintained slow but steady growth over the past few years – really start to accelerate. Firms like ZipCar and DriveNow have been flexing their marketing muscles for some time now and will be actively looking for opportunities to scale. It’s likely car-sharing schemes have been monitoring the success of bike-sharing and public transportation operators that have opened their data, and will be joining suit in 2018. So don’t be surprised if you see the locations of available rental vehicles pop up soon on Google Maps.

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London, ON, Canada

©2018 by London Transportation Alliance.                   Photography Credit Scott Webb