The Netherlands has long led the world in cycling infrastructure in part because of the traditional system of zuilen, or “pillars” – distinct but opposing cultural groups that, by the equal exertion of pressure, kept each other in check. And it’s this sort of mutuality that has led Mobike and nine other dockless bike-share firms in the Netherlands to work together on integration measures.
The companies – excluding Ofo and oBike – have agreed that, from May, their apps will feature "interoperability".
This "pillar" agreement was forged by Tour de Force, an organisation which coordinates the cycle policies of central government, provinces and municipalities.
The participating companies include Mobike of China, Denmark’s Donkey Republic and Nextbike from Germany. Smaller Dutch operators Flickbike, Hello bike and Urbee electric share bikes are also part of the proposed scheme, reports nrc.nl.
Donkey Bike’s chief marketing officer Ben Posetti told BikeBiz:
"The agreement signed this week was a commitment between competing bike-share operators to collaborate towards open integration systems. One aspect of that could be that in future some operators make available the bikes of their competitors."
However, "there is no firm commitment on when that solution might come," he added.
"Donkey Republic is open to the idea of interoperability, but that would be very dependent on the operational standards of the other operators."
Bike location and availability will be published via an open API in May.
In August last year Amsterdam announced a temporary ban on dockless bikes after thousands were dropped in the city without seeking municipal agreement. The city is to soon remove that ban but will limit the number of dockless operators to three.