Key Steps to Roll-Out an E-Bike Sharing Scheme

A step-by-step guide for the successful roll-out of an e-bike sharing scheme.


As the urban population continues to grow, so does the need for integrated measures to address the challenges arising from urbanisation. With the increased number of urban dwellers, the transport systems of many cities are straining, especially in developing countries and emerging economies where the development path of increasing urban populations is particularly fast. Straining transportation systems often result in increasing levels of traffic congestion, noise pollution or negative impacts on traffic flows as well as the safety and health of citizens. Many cities around the world have recognised the problem and are already taking measures to improve urban mobility, e.g. by trying to shift from a rather car-centric development to providing viable mobility alternatives such as improved public transport systems, as well as better cycling and walking infrastructure.


Many cities are taking measures to improve cycling infrastructure, aiming to make cycling a viable mode of transport. To get people do more trips on bikes, more than 600 cities worldwide have implemented their own bike-sharing scheme allowing locals and tourists to enjoy the benefits of cycling without the costs and responsibilities associated with ownership. In recent years electric-bike sharing schemes have become a valuable alternative to lower the barrier to cycling even more, making it more comfortable and accessible for different types of user groups. At the same time, with the implementation of such schemes new challenges occur, such as required charging infrastructure and different ways of maintenance. The following steps provide guidelines for relevant stakeholders to support the step by step e-bike sharing scheme implementation in cities, helping to transform urban mobility.

Key Steps to Roll-Out an E-Bike Sharing Scheme

Step-by-Step Guide: Key Steps to Roll-Out an E-Bike Sharing Scheme

  • Define your City’s Strategic Goals:
    • How can e-bike sharing schemes benefit your city?
    • Increase of connectivity (of transport modes), improvement of accessible and inclusive mobility, improved air quality, improved public health, extension of a multimodal transport system
  • Demand Study/ Feasibility Study:
    • Analyse your cities local conditions to assess the potential demand for an e-bike scheme
    • Studies on: What is your city’s topography, weather, density etc.? Where do you expect high demand? What are locations for docking stations?
  • Set a Timetable:
    When do you want to put the e-bike scheme into operation?
  • Select a Project Scale:
    • Is the project going to be a pilot or a big scale roll-out of e-bikes?
    • Define the number of e-bikes and docking stations to procure
  • Analyse the Existing Bike Infrastructure:
    • What is the state of cycling infrastructure, traffic, safety and level of quality of the existing bicycle network?
    • Bicycle highways, parking facilities etc.

  • Municipal Government
  • Public Transport Authorities
  • Public Transport Operators

  • Stakeholder Mapping:
    • Which stakeholders do you want to engage and what is their role?
    • Funders, policymakers, developers, end users
  • Stakeholder Engagement:
    • Where is the sharing scheme most needed and where are the greatest opportunities for impact?
    • Engage with stakeholders, especially vulnerable groups, through focus groups, interviews or observation methods

  • Municipal Government
  • Public Transport Authorities
  • Public Transport Operators
  • With support of External consultants

  • Define E-Bike Specifications:
    Match the e-bike quaility, usability and cost according to your city’s context
  • Define Docking Station Specifications:
    • What type of docking station do you want to implement (modular, permanent)?
    • Consider the demand, space availability, operation and maintenance
  • Define Digital User Interfaces:
    • How should the user interface look like in terms of registration, payment etc.?
    • Long-term users, casual users, management scheme, smartphone apps/displays at docking station

  • Municipal Government
  • Public Transport Authorities
  • Public Transport Operators
  • City Planning Authorities
  • Suppliers of e-bikes and infrastructure

  • Define Business/Operating Model:
    • Define contracting structure and operating model (e.g. fully public operation; publicly owned and privately operated)
    • Financing: Define how you are financing the capital costs and the operational costs
    • Asset: Define the ownership of the assets, e.g. stations, docks, bicycles, IT system
    • End of life management: e.g. define responsibilites for recycling of e-bikes and batteries before implementation
  • Funding:
    • What funding sources are available?
    • Look for international, national, regional or local funding
  • Market consultation process:
    • Consult the relevant stakeholders in the market
    • What products and solutions are available in the market?

  • Municipal Government
  • Public Transport Authorities
  • Public Transport Operators
  • In cooperation with Municipal Transport and Finance Department
  • In cooperation with Suppliers of e-bikes and infrastructure

  • Procurement and Installation of Hardware:
    • Ensure the area-wide installation of the needed infrastructure in one or more phases
    • Installation of e-bike schemes, docking stations with sufficient energy suppl, user-software
  • Community Outreach:
    Set up a communication strategy to encourage e-bike share ridership and educate customers
  • Launch:
    • Plan a soft launch and official system launch
    • Soft launch can include a demonstration period with user feedback, test runs etc., the official launch can include appearance of press and city officials

  • Municipal Government
  • Public Transport Authorities
  • Public Transport Operators
  • City Planning Authorities
  • In cooperation with Construction companies
  • With support of External consultants

  • Operations:
    • Set up the staffing structure for e-bike sharing operations
    • Management, marketing, customer service, fleet technicians
  • Monitoring:
    • Identify key indicators for monitoring the status of your e-bike sharing scheme
    • Identify each e-bike for history of usage and maintenance, perform routine checks
  • Maintenance:
    • Develop a strategy for e-bike and charging infrastructure repair
    • Set up maintenance software, include backend software to the user interface so users can give complaints and inform about defective equipment

  • Public Transport Authorities
  • Public Transport Operators
  • Service Providers