While biking usually calls to mind the Dutch population biking through the narrow streets of their crowded cities, bikes are becoming more popular among students in the United States as well. Yet, bicycle culture and habits are far less developed in the U.S. than in the Netherlands; meaning that you actually have to pay attention to where you park your bike so it won’t get impounded by the police. Additionally, actual parking spaces for bikes tend to be few, even on campus, and getting a cheap pre-owned bike is a less viable option than in the Netherlands. Having said this, biking is a very quick and easy way to get around the city or campus. As such, it is rather unsurprising that B-Cycle launched its business in Madison, Wisconsin (and 22 other cities in the U.S.) counting on the just over 40,000 students in the city to be willing to rent bicycles to quickly close distances on the vast campus.
Indeed, Madison B-Cycle is a perfect example of a consumer driven value chain. The core concept is rather simple; Madison B-Cycle owns 35 B-Stations throughout the city and a total of 350 bicycles—at each station there are 10 bikes available. Subsequently, the customer can take out a bike from any of the stations and return it to the station of his choice. The real beauty of this business concept is that the stations are fully automated, run 24-7, and thus do not depend on any human interaction—except from the customer of course. In order for you to rent a bicycle, however, you need to have a subscription; the company offers either a 24-hour membership (for $5), a monthly membership (of $7.99) or an annual membership for $65. Continue reading Madison B-Cycle: Join the Bike Sharing!