Roland Berger: Bike sharing to grow to 5.3 billion

12 January 2015

Bike-sharing is becoming ever more popular. Recent research by Roland Berger finds that by 2020 the market for bike-sharing will grow to €5.3 billion. Electronic bike-sharing with locks that can be opened with a smartphone are among changes coming to shake up the bike market.

European and especially American cities are seeing bike-sharing as increasingly popular ways of moving from A to B. With many cities introducing ambitious plans to expand the bike-networks, special “bike-stations” are being created that are found throughout cities, where bikes can be hired at any time. Roland Berger discusses its research results in ‘Shared mobility, how new businesses are rewriting the rules of the private transportation game’, finding that by 2020 the market value of bike-sharing could be worth €5.3 billion.

Parked bikes

Old Idea, anew
As it stands, 533 cities around the world take part in bike-sharing. New York already has 6,000 shared bikes spread across 300 bike-stations. In Paris there are 18,380 bikes that can be picked up and dropped off as needed by those in need of a ride, with Antwerpen set to release 1,800 bikes at 150 stations shortly.

Bike sharing is however not particularly new. In Amsterdam, Luud Schimmelpennink, a social and industrial innovator, developed the idea in 1965. He painted 20 bikes white and put them on the street, their use free. Since they weren’t locked, the police took them into custody. In his second attempt he worked with Amsterdam’s municipality to push for his White Bike plan to spread thousands of white bikes to share throughout Amsterdam. The council rejected his plan, claiming that ‘bikes are an outmoded form of transport’.


Just as CD’s have been replaced by digital and streaming technologies, and video stores are being bankrupted by online on demand streaming services, the shift toward ecologically sound forms of transportation have reinvigorated consumers to step on the peddle, with bike sharing making more sense now than 50 years ago. Business too is taking an interest, CitiBank sponsored one of the New York bike share programmes, Citi Bike. With social movements like BitLock developing, through crowdfunding, a bikelock that can be opened with a smartphone – bikes can be shared with a third party, where access is granted through a transfer of a security key between smartphone apps.

In the German university city Aachen, eBikes are for example being offered. The plan of developer Velocity is to offer an electronic bike every 300 meters. The company is currently testing out its idea, with 20 bike-stations to be set up in 2015. Not only will the bikes be shared, but will the cost, with the cost being added to the public transport system as a whole, in exchange for the unlimited free use of the bikes.

Bike Sharing - The Secret of Succes

Back to the future
Roland Berger, in their research report, look at how shared bikes can be further expanded going forward. They unravel that the supply of shared bikes plays a large role in influencing the demand. Based on the several trends and advantages they identify, the consultants see a bright future for the market. Increased supply will fuel interest, which in turn will drive investment, boosting innovation and further down the cycle increase uptake and demand. If the forecast from the consultants turns reality, then the market will by 2020 grow to between €3,6 and €5,3 billion. 

Related news: Sharing economy to grow to $335 billion by 2025.


How data insights helped Network Rail improve the South-East route

11 April 2019

Amey Consulting has leveraged data insights to assist Network Rail with the improvement of its South-Eastern route. Using the Quartz tool, which monitors train movement, Network Rail will now be able to commit to data-enabled interventions to quickly improve underperforming train stations.

With rail services in the UK coming under strain from the demands of modern commuter life, while the infrastructure and service delivery of the nation’s railways has come in for sustained criticism in recent years, a period of regeneration is on the cards at last. Network Rail is the owner and infrastructure manager of most of the railway network in Great Britain, and has subsequently tapped the consulting industry on a regular basis to help find areas of improvement.

The group recently drafted in consultancy BearingPoint to conduct a thorough organisational evaluation and advise Network Rail (High Speed) on attaining a ‘fit for purpose’ organisational standard – for which the consultancy was nominated at the 2019 MCA Awards. Meanwhile, ArupArcadis and Aecom have been contracted to help Colas Rail and Babcock Rail implement a decade-long framework for Network Rail, aimed at supporting the delivery of the next generation of rail systems, with the contracts said to be worth as much as £5 billion

How data insights helped Network Rail improve the South-East route

As Network Rail further aims to improve its performance and customer service offering, another area it has sought help from the consulting sector for is its South-East route. The network of railways connects London with the southern parts of the country, as well as with Europe, making it the busiest in the country, with more than 500 million passenger journeys per year. This crucial expanse of rail was plagued with small minute delays, which were impacting millions of passengers every day, while reducing the efficiency and capacity of the overall network – something Amey Consulting was selected to help solve.

Amey Consulting soon determined that with the sub-threshold delays to services only lasting for 1 or 2 minutes, most were not the subject of detailed root cause analysis, and this made their corrections almost impossible – with dire consequences. Without addressing these delays, passenger satisfaction would fall, while the capacity and efficiency of the network would be reduced, stinging the income of Network Rail even before a host of delay-related fines would hit the company.

In order to help the client gain a better understanding of where, how, when and what these small delays occur, Amey Consulting looked to demonstrate the value of data-led consulting, with a significant reduction in delays within the first month of rolling out changes to key stations. The consultants embedded themselves in Network Rail’s team, helping them learn the key skills needed to support and apply data-driven solutions.

Agile transport

This involved the deployment of the Quartz tool. The system utilises to-the-second train movement data to present the performance of individual stations across the South-East route. It allows users to effortlessly understand station performance with a high level of detail, and use this information to identify losses caused by small-minute delays. The granular data allows for targeted actions to drive efficiency savings and performance improvements. More importantly, it allows users to understand the impact of small process changes on performance. 

Steve Dyke, an Executive Partner at Amey Consulting, said of the project, “We looked to identify the physical root cause on the infrastructure, building a case for change then managing that project implementation and tracking the benefit/value.  In doing so we are working to define a data performance improvement service to the operational and infrastructure owners.”

Just as important for the project as the technology, however, was teaching the Network Rail team how to leverage it after the consultants were gone. The Amey Consulting team worked to develop an agile working culture within Network Rail’s South-East division, helping staff to be confident in using data to improve the journeys of millions of people per year by attacking the problem from the ground up.

Dyke concluded, “This is less about the tools and about the approach to managing performance.  It meant using by-the-second analysis, data science, and then agile development to visualise and identify areas where improvements can be made.  We then worked with NR to change the way they approached the management of the infrastructure changes.  So rather than pass the information down the value chain, any of which could have been missed, we managed the change end-to-end.”

The project was so successful that Amey Consulting was also among those honoured at the recent MCA Awards. The firm scooped the Performance Improvement in the Public Sector prize for its work with Network Rail, at the 2019 ceremony in London.