Vbike expects growth in Mexico City despite theft

Although Vbike hasn't disclosed any details regarding the number of stolen bikes, the company expects to expand their operation to other parts of Mexico City
Vbike expects growth in Mexico City despite theft
Presentation of the Vbike service at the Benito Juárez district - Photo: Camila Mata/EL UNIVERSAL
06/06/2018
18:05
Antonio Hernández
Mexico City
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Recent bike thefts to Vbike haven’t hindered the bicycle sharing company’s strategy to expand in Mexico’s capital city, and once they have completed their pilot program operating in the Benito Juárez district, they hope to expand to other parts of the city based on an analysis to be conducted by the city government.

Without disclosing any details about the number of stolen bicycles, Vbike’s head of operations, Federico Polakoff, stated that the situation has remained within their growth strategy. Basing on the evaluation they intend to make in the near future, in cooperation with the government of Mexico City, they will announce their presence in other districts.

“This kind of problem is not unknown to us, and our business model has gone just the way we hoped, not better nor worse. In that respect, we would like to conclude our analysis with the Ministry of Transportation after which we will issue a final report. These setbacks haven’t inhibited our expansion plan at all. At this point, our plan is to continue operating in Mexico City for years to come,” Polakoff stated.

Last Tuesday, Vbike and Sura gave details on insurance services offered to their bikers, which is included in the user’s payment for the service and offers protection for civil liability, accidental death, and medical expenses.

According to Francisco Oliveros, managing director of Sura Insurance in Mexico, Vbike’s user protection starts from the moment users activate the service through the mobile app and unlock the safety padlock. The insurance covers the whole ride.

Vbike has 65,000 users registered in Mexico City, with an average of 2,000 new users per day.

Facing the incidence of bike theft, Oliveros pointed out that Sura is working on an insurance model for Vbike users as part of the pilot protection project which is currently in development.

The Sura insurance for users of Vbike has been operating for 45 days and offers coverage of MXN$200 thousand in the event of accidental death, MXN$150 thousand for medical insurance, and MXN$150 for civil liability.

Vbike has stated that their bicycle sharing business model, which doesn’t require the use of stations, can be applied in other districts north and south of Mexico City, which is why they are waiting from the authorities’ permission to expand their operation radius.

“We think the service has been very well accepted. We reached the goal of six thousand daily bike rides in the district of Benito Juárez, and there are signs of additional demand. In cooperation with government authorities, we’re hoping to determine exactly where this type of service is needed, but we’re hoping to start operating in other areas as soon as possible,” said the Vbike representative.

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