Several factors are responsible for the growing popularity of bicycle share programs in the UK, including affordable transportation, health grounds, and sustainability. Perhaps the take-up has something to do with the pandemic, which required an effective alternative to public transport for practicing social distancing.
The e-bike and e-scooter were a natural choice of personal transportation during Covid as the social distancing achieved made it covid-appropriate behavior and so bike share programs became more popular and have continued to be so despite the end of the Covid-19 era. In multi-family BTR, properties are increasingly considering providing eBikes as helpful amenities to the residents.
As build-to-rent developers and property developers strive to improve customer satisfaction by offering helpful amenities like gyms, yoga, jogging tracks, and other health-oriented facilities, e-bikes and e-scooters are easy wins. Together, these add-on features attract customers and ensure resident satisfaction more effectively than amenities inside the living units. Such amenities mean residents can travel light, save money not need to buy a bike, and not have to worry about insuring it, theft, stolen wheels. In addition, if e-bikes are in a central compound the risk of residents taking bikes through the communal areas (and associated damage) is reduced.
Figures from US research suggest that providing an e-bike facility delivers a return on investment north of 30 percent on around £40 per unit. Bike share or e-bike programs boost customer satisfaction. When setting up the scheme there is also an opportunity to reinforce the BTR brand by putting the property logo on the bike, this way any bike, electric or standard, can become your community's brand ambassador.
Like any new amenity, in-depth planning is crucial when setting up a community bike-share program for residents. The E-bike program needs charging points, e-bike conversion kits, parking spaces, and approved e-bike stations and a bike wash. The facility of bike share must comply with safety regulations.
Many developers still prefer bike share to e-bikes because of its simplicity - but as the sustainability gets higher and higher up the agenda, we expect the popularity of e-bikes will continue to rise. A standard bike share program is easier to implement, as you do not need not get multiple certifications and licenses. Regular bikes are convenient and easier to maintain. Bike share programs are suitable for multi-family properties because of lower investment and fewer liabilities.
Property managers must ensure proper training for residents to use e-bikes and should put up posters of cycle routes and safety check information. Bike share programs need to provide racks and baskets for groceries. Residents will want to use e-bikes for commuting to work, and shopping and it would be great if there, were a lot of green spaces surrounding and/or dedicated cycle paths.
E-bikes can facilitate the commute to work especially where there are designated bicycle lanes. Using a bike can avoid crowded public transport and traffic snarls.
In summary, here are a few of the attractive benefits of using e-bikes:
E-bikes are slowly transforming personal transportation in the UK as the machines help people stay healthy and build confidence while leveraging pedal power. E-bikes let the rider use their strength whilst getting a little help from the bike on inclines and when they tire a little. Most people above 55 prefer e-bikes to regular bikes because of the ease of riding. Bike share programs or e-bikes are suitable for multi-family properties as these amenities boost customer satisfaction and retention.
Mary-Anne Bowring FIRPM FRICS FARLA FCABE Founder/Head of Asset Management
Strategic partnerships, holistic delivery/ opportunities, growth, value engineering, thought leadership
Ian Barber MD BTR Mobilisation & Leasing
Runs HQ & site lease-up teams. Drives rent pricing, mobilisation, marketing, happy residents!
Jon Curtis MRICS Head of Building Engineering
Chartered Building Surveyor. Lectures on EWS1 & building safety. Runs CapEx programmes.
Kate Robinson MIRPM MD Blocks/FM Management (London Region)
Master plan setup, ops and staffing and resident engagement. ISO45001 champion.
Lee Harle Partner Ringley Law
Plot conveyancing. Debt litigation. Group Company Secretary.
Anthony Kingdon MIRPM AssocRICS MD Blocks/FM Management (North Region)
Stakeholder engagement. Mixed tenure specialist. Budget management. Plant audit, PPM compliance.
Chris Georgalis MRICS Head of Commercial Valuation
Chartered Valuer. Rental valuations: retail, leisure. IRR modelling and valuations for secured lending. Compulsory purchase & rent reviews
Nichola Pughe MRICS Head of Residential Valuation
Chartered Valuer. Rental development & mixed use valuations, IRR modelling. Leasehold enfranchisement specialist
Libby Chen MSc Compliance Manager
Operational Plant & Equipment strategy PPM Compliance lead, Asset tagging Client major projects
Dipesh Parekh Director PlanetRent
Customer centric, vertically integrated PropTech/fin-tech solutions.
Leana Aristodemou MIRPM MARLA AssocRICS Strategic lead: ESG & Asset Business Plan delivery
Financial modelling, valuation analyst to support underwriting & fund reporting.
Natalie Birmingham Helpdesk Support Manager
Trainer & Helpdesk Manager: people, systems,contractors. ISO45001 supply chain accreditation.
Steve Norman Planning Director
Land due diligence (opportunities & constraints) Has contributed to a number of award winning schemes.