Popular in dense areas like San Francisco and the wider Bay Area, bike share targets commuters and eco-conscious urban travelers. With a bike share service, you no longer have to use your own bike when you want to take a one-way bike trip: you can simply rent a bike and drop it off at a convenient location when you’re done.
If you’re thinking of expanding your marketing campaign to include bike share advertising, you’re in the right place. Let’s go over bike share advertising in general, and who it might be right for.
What is Bike Share Advertising?
Bike share advertising allows you to partner with different bike share companies to place your ad in a public place. A newer form of outdoor advertising, the bike share system is rapidly expanding and creating new advertising opportunities. Docking stations are placed in high-traffic areas, like city centers and around college campuses, allowing travelers to easily rent a bicycle for a few hours.
Bike share stations are located in areas that receive a lot of foot traffic, making your ad highly visible to the general public. A popular first and last mile solution, bike share is becoming more common in major metro areas like New York City and Los Angeles, where ridership has been high. Although many think of private companies, like Jump or Lime, when they think of bike share, many public metro systems have decided to incorporate bike shares into their repertoire. A commuter riding a public bike is a common site in Los Angeles, where LA Metro unveiled their public bike share system several years ago.
Ads are placed in a variety of different places, depending on the location and the bike share company you partner with. Kiosks and docking stations are popular locations for ads, and some ads can be placed on the bikes themselves. For example, Doordash recently partnered with LA Metro, placing Doordash branding on Metro bikes across the city. This ensures everyone in Los Angeles will see the Doordash branding, and it also helped Metro offset the cost of their bike share program. A win-win!
How Much Does Bike Share Advertising Cost?
The cost of your bike share advertising program will depend on the location you advertise in, the bike share operators you partner with, whether you choose to place an ad with the entire fleet of bike share bicycles or a smaller segment, and whether you decide to place your ad on kiosks and docking stations. Since bike share programs are highly localized, they present an excellent opportunity for local businesses to spread the word about their goods and services.
Advantages of Bike Share Ads
Like advertising through other forms of public transportation, there is a positive reputational effect when you partner with a company that provides a public good. Viewers are more likely to associate your brand with the wider community, and to consider your brand to be an eco-conscious partner. Because bikes traverse the city, you will enhance your outreach dramatically.
Since many people and companies purchase an annual membership or subscription to a bike rental service, you have the advantage of reaching the same people with your content regularly. A subscriber will see your content every time they use their bike share services.
Where Are Bike Share Ads Available
Bike share services provide a convenient transportation option, and are growing in popularity within dense city centers like Washington DC. In San Francisco, the Bay Wheels program began as a partnership between MTC, the five local governments, and a subsidiary of Lyft, and now offer cyclists over 7,000 bicycles at 550 stations. Because it is a public partnership, Bay Wheels also offers programs for low-income riders and the option to pay cash so that the program has even wider reach.
Determining the right marketing partnership for you will depend on your target demographic and budget. Initiatives like Bay Wheels and the Doordash/LA Metro partnership will continue to grow in prominence, making bike share advertising an excellent opportunity for marketers to consider.