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Public Bike Systems Turning into Big Business

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MAARSSEN, The Netherlands – Banks and private equity firms are eyeing a growth market for the bike industry: the public bike systems. London, Geneva, Barcelona, Roma, Chicago, Moscow, Washington, Beijing, Sidney are all showing interest in installing such systems. Final decisions on implementing rental bikes have recently been made by the cities

Public Bike Systems Turning into Big Business
Bike Europe Velib

MAARSSEN, The Netherlands – Banks and private equity firms are eyeing a growth market for the bike industry: the public bike systems. London, Geneva, Barcelona, Roma, Chicago, Moscow, Washington, Beijing, Sidney are all showing interest in installing such systems.

Final decisions on implementing rental bikes have recently been made by the cities of San Francisco, Caen and Dijon. As Bike Europe reported on the cover of its December edition; San Francisco has entered into a € 200 million contract with Clear Channel Outdoor Inc. for a bike rental system in the city.

€ 600 million in Advertisement Turnover

The money involved in such systems is huge. In return for the Paris Vélib system with its 1451 rental stations and 20,600 bikes, JCDecaux obtained the rights to exploit 1,628 billboards in Paris. The company expects to realize € 600 million in advertisement turnover over the course of the 10-year contract.

With such amounts public bike systems are turning into big business and with that attracting attention of banks and other financial institutions. London is said to be planning to roll out a scheme twice the size of Vélib in Paris; if that’s the benchmark for what’s about to happen with other major Capitals, it’s no wonder that even private equity companies are now said to be getting involved.

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