Bike-sharing is set to be an integrated part of travelling around the world's major cities with the launch of a new data feed from today.
Ito World, which consolidates data for a broad range of travel and navigation providers such as Google and the Department for Transport is to include the whereabouts of bike-sharing docking stations within its feed.
After Paris and then London first launched state-backed bike-sharing platforms, private Chinese firms such as Mobike, Ovo and Ofo have attracted hundreds of millions of dollars in investment over the last year.
Private firms expansion is not limited to China, they can now be found challenging the likes of Santander Cycles and Paris' Velib as an everyday mode transport in cities in Europe and North America.
“The global bike sharing phenomenon is showing no sign of putting on the brakes, and the UK’s cycling culture, in particular, is booming," said Ito World chief executive Johan Herrlin.
"Since the launch of Velib in Paris 10 years ago, the topic of urban mobility has become much more ubiquitous. We believe that in the future, bike sharing will be one of the key parts in a smart, fully-connected transportation network that transforms how people move around a city.
We hope that our global bike share data feed will help make it easier to connect potential users with bike share schemes around the world, ultimately getting more people on two wheels.
The launch comes as new analysis indicates London has the world's easiest-to-use bike-sharing scheme.
The UK capital toppled Chicago in the latest usability rankings pulled together by artificial intelligence solutions specialist Stage Intelligence. The US "Windy City" has historically topped the poll.
Meanwhile, New York was bottom of the world's major cities for bike-sharing. Usability was 90.2 per cent, meaning that on average 10 per cent of riders at any given time cannot access the bikes or docking stations they want.
“Bike Share riders and cities benefit from Schemes that are easy and reliable to use,” said Stage Intelligence head of operations Tom Nutley.
Operators need to make sure that riders have access to bikes when and where they need them without over servicing the market. This is where the London scheme could be at most risk. The data is very positive for London but it could be using too much city resources to manage its operations especially when there is no need to.