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Cape Town Bike Share

Bike and Saddle would like to invite interested parties to discuss participation in a bicycle-share program for Cape Town (2014), focused on the visiting tourist, and over time, the broader public. 

How does it work?

It's been shown that you don’t always have to go big, either in bike numbers or in sponsors.

Major bike-share schemes typically involve major enterprises like Citibank and Barclays, but there's no reason they can't be small, local businesses – a hotel, a café, a bar, arts venue or restaurant. Bike & Saddle proposes just such a solution on Cape Town's main tourist and commuter arteries.

While participants need to take a long view, we believe they can recoup their investment in the program (as many of our partners in Bike & Saddle's Eco-Active Partner Network already do) by encouraging more customers to frequent their businesses, by developing user loyalty through the value add and joining the proposed publicity platform for themselves and the events they host.

Micro-schemes mean partners don't necessarily have to invest in new infrastructure (or even the bicycles, in our proposal). Bike & Saddle's program relies on its participating venues having enough space to store some bikes and their ability to process a credit card payment. Bike & Saddle provides the bicycles and offer a bike redistribution system to partners at a small monthly fee - easily recuperated through the bike-share fees required from the user.

Our Simple Single Speed is fun to ride!

You can have a private bike-share start-up for Cape Town and a lack in cash or political momentum to create a larger public scheme should not be a reason why the city can't have a focused share program.

Cape Town is highly suitable for cyclists. Picking up a bike after breakfast or coffee to run around town on is both easy and cheap. Both for locals and for visitors.

Our plan has clear and self-imposed limitations of course. We plan to expand only gradually, while our users are more likely to be the sort of people who frequent artsy cafés than a broad cross-section of the city’s population. This could, however, have the effect of creating a more conscious biking community that feels it has a stake in the scheme.

In assessing the possible relevance to the future of bike-sharing, the spread of public Wi-Fi is perhaps a good model. While ubiquitous Internet access may well be on the way, cafes the world over have long been making up for coverage gaps by attracting customers with free broadband. With bike-share taking off globally, we may likewise be working towards a world where many more cities have some form of cheap or free cycling scheme. But in the meantime, initiatives like our’s can help plug gaps.

Should you be interested to discuss furhter or participate, please contact us.


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