We are proud of our customers' success and achievements. Below we present the case study of our customer in Mainz, Germany.
The development of a bike sharing system was approved by the city council of Mainz in 2008. Operations of MVGMeinRad commenced in 2012 with a fleet of 400 bikes and 50 stations, following a successful test phase. Since then, the system has been expanding in size and the bikes are available to users 24 hours a day. It is operated by the transportation company MVG and constitutes the third pillar of transport after the tram and bus.
In 2014 MVGMeinRad partnered with ElectricFeel, who provided the software management platform, which coordinates the management of users, assets and operations. The system has reached a total of more than 900 bikes and 100 stations in 2016.
Challenge & Scope
Just like every bike-sharing system, MVGMeinRad faced a major operational challenge: the redistribution of bicycles from full to empty stations throughout the day, using trucks. This is known as the rebalancing problem and accounts for a major part of the operational cost, while at the same time CO2 emissions are generated from driving that could be prevented if rebalancing was more efficient.
Before the introduction of ElectricFeel’s solution, rebalancing involved constant communication between the truck driver and dispatcher. The shifting of bikes was based on historical data, but largely on intuition and human judgement, while routing between stations was left to the experience of the driver. The ineffectiveness of redistribution was reflected by the low availability of bikes, when users wanted to rent them, and docks, when users wanted to park rented bikes. This lead to numerous complaints on social media and busy call center lines.
In 2015, ElectricFeel launched the Rebalancing Dashboard, a prediction-based tool with recommendations for redistributing bikes between stations.
The introduction of ElectricFeel’s solution allowed MVG to take full advantage of the predictive technology in order to meet user demand. By following ElectricFeel's dynamic rebalancing recommendations, MVGmeinRad was able to achieve more effective rebalancing - this means that rebalanced bikes were subsequently rented a lot more by users - while at the same time both rebalancing cost and time were greatly reduced. All system KPIs marked a significant improvement in 2015 compared to 2014.
"The user satisfaction has drastically increased, we get far less complaints via Facebook and service hotline about rebalancing"
- Michael Kraus, General Director, MVGmeinRad
"We stopped trying to analyse the user flows: our rebalancing is on auto-pilot now."
- Andreas Weil, Head of Maintenance, MVGmeinRad