Originally posted on The Dirt:
Bike sharing became a surprising common theme throughout last week’s Transforming Transportation conference, which was co-hosted by EMBARQ and The World Bank and featured debates, panels, and lectures on the rise of sustainable urban transportation. Amit Bhatt, EMBARQ India, stood in front of a packed conference room to speak about the challenges he faced creating bike sharing programs in India. “If the cost outweighs the revenue,” he says as he scans the room, “how do you fund it?”
To say the least, bike sharing programs are expensive. A community can expect to spend $3,000 to $5,000 on a single bike in these programs, not including operations and management. These bikes are stronger than any mainstream bike one can find, but they are difficult to pitch to developing countries.
“India’s challenge is urbanization,” explains Bhatt. “With urbanization comes higher motorization.” There are so many two-wheelers are on the streets now that there are as many reported accidents in India as there are vehicles.