Part of: Financing Sustainable Urban Development: An Introduction

Bike sharing: Example of a sustainable urban project

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Bike sharing is an attractive investment for sustainable cities. It helps address challenges such as congestion, poor air quality, high greenhouse gas emissions, and lack of transport options (WRI 2019b). WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities/Youtube

The fast-growing private vehicle ownership in Bhopal, India was causing an increase in traffic, noise, and air pollution. Bhopal had little cycle ridership, partly because of the lack of infrastructure to support and ensure the safety of cyclists. To make the city more accessible to residents and foster an urban bike culture, Bhopal provided India’s first bike-sharing system along with dedicated bicycle lanes. “Chartered Bike” launched in June 2017, attracted more than 25,000 registered users within the first five months (WRI 2017).

Bhopal convened technology suppliers, operators, financial institutions, and public agencies to develop a public-private partnership. This allowed costs to be shared among the public and private agencies and directed all the revenue generated by the system back to the private agency, thereby ensuring its long-term financial feasibility. The city paid US$442,500 capital costs for the project, with the remaining costs raised by membership fees (US$14 per year), advertising, and parking revenues.