August 4, 2018

China’s Bike Bubble Aftermath

From The Atlantic, via PT correspondent Michael Alexander, one of two dozen artful (and depressing) images of the aftermath of China’s bike share boom.

The fallout of a burst bike-share bubble in China has left the country with millions of abandoned bicycles piled into “graveyards”—such as this one, photographed on April 14 in Nanning—that cities are still sorting through.

…In a few cases, plans have been announced to refurbish and distribute some of the bikes to smaller neighbouring towns; in others, wholesale recycling has begun, and bicycles are being crushed into cubes.

These truly haunting images are a collective follow-up to an Atlantic article from the spring on the country’s overzealous provisioning of public bikes, and the revelation that perhaps the industry needs some sort of…geez, I dunno… analysis, monitoring, management, and regulation?

An obviously stark contrast to the measured roll-out of Vancouver’s docked bike share program Mobi, which recently turned 2.

Photo courtesy VCG via Getty.

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  1. 500,000 rides in two years covering a tiny corner of the city is hardly something for us to gloat over compared to the double-digit increases in cycling mode share that some places in China when dockless was rolled out.

    Unfortunately, all the ongoing wasted fuel, excavated earth, and polluted air from our society’s transportation policies don’t mound up into colourful piles for foreigners to gawk at, even if the problem is one of decades rather than a likely one-time investment bubble.

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