Finding our balance: Considering the opportunities for public bicycle systems in Cape Town, South Africa, was published in the peer-reviewed journal Research in Transportation Business and Management 15, November 2014.
This paper seeks to examine the degree to which a public bicycle system could meet the needs of people in Cape Town, South Africa, a middle-income city with significant resource constraints and transport justice considerations. The local authority in Cape Town has an explicit policy to provide affordable and appropriate mobility options for all; at the same time, it is concerned with environmental and economic sustainability, and global status. Recently, public bicycle systems have received increased attention in the city, yet business models that depend on advertising revenue, automation, and credit card possession are likely to exclude the urban poor, who live beyond the central city and seldom can afford the security requirements such systems may require.
The paper thus examines the tensions between the glamour of a globally competitive city, and the multiple unmet mobility needs of city residents; and begins to ask the questions: what role might an iconic, urban, public bicycle system play in Cape Town? What economic, sustainability or mobility needs might this serve? And how might a shared bicycle system business model operate if it were to serve the transport disadvantaged?
The Full-text is available in Research in Transportation Business and Management, Elsevier, 2014.