Electric bicycles, particularly e-bike sharing services, have gone a long way in improving personal mobility in urban areas around Europe, Asia, and the U.S. However, despite all the benefits hitting the road on two wheels can provide, there are also a couple of drawbacks, and one of these is the mess they cause around cities when parked improperly.
Seeing used electric bikes scattered on the streets is a common sight in places like London. This has prompted leading bike sharing services Lime and HumanForest to launch campaigns to promote smart and responsible e-bike parking etiquette. Recently, Lime began a new advertising campaign called “Park Like Your Gran is Watching” to encourage its users to be respectful when it comes to parking their rented e-bikes. The company has produced digital billboards that will be displayed in the capital’s key traffic locations and feature lovely looking London grandmas.
As well as using clean pavement stenciling in places like Bank and King’s Cross, Lime will also utilize legal flyers in Camden Town and Shoreditch High Street. The company has also created a unique website with instructions on proper e-bike parking. Additionally, Lime has raised its foot patrol squad by 50 percent and is fining reckless parkers penalties between £2 and £20 ( $2.41 USD to $24 USD). On top of that, repeat offenders risk a lifetime ban.
Hal Stevenson, Lime UK’s public relations manager, highlighted the increasing number of e-bikes scattered around the city, and the need of responsible parking in an article written by electric mobility website Move Electric. “The majority of our riders park responsibly, but for the minority that don’t, we know that education is key. This campaign is all about raising awareness of what good parking looks like to help people end their rides responsibly and safely.”
In the meanwhile, HumanForest, a British e-bike rental company, has started a new “tidy parking” campaign that will give customers free rides in an effort to improve parking standards throughout the shared mobility industry. In this promotion, members of the public can win 10 minutes of free riding on a HumanForest e-bike by sending in a photo of a properly parked electric bicycle, owned by any rental firm. The company already offers free riding for the first ten minutes of every day.
Additionally, HumanForest has introduced a “Forest Guardian” program, employing individuals to patrol the busiest sections and enforce the company’s parking policies. HumanForest has a “virtual” parking bay system with free-of-charge zones where users can complete a trip. The cost of leaving a bike somewhere else is £1.50 more, and the penalty for leaving a bike outside the boroughs where HumanForest operates is even higher.