Chess game in Geneva between Publibike and Intermobility

Once again, citizens of Geneva will have to wait before seeing shared bikes in the streets of the Swiss city. It’s a real soap opera that is taking place there, because of a fight between the two strong local actors: Publibike (dock and dockless solutions) and Intermobility with its Velospot system (dockless).

Since 2007, it is the third serious blow for the city to get its bike-share scheme. The initial municipal project, combining advertising and bike-sharing as for this time french projects, drawn after a dispute with an outdoor advertising company. The second cantonal project stopped after a parlementary procedure.

And now 2018… The Transports publics genevois (TPG) and municipalities of Genève, Carouge, Onex, Lancy, Vernier and Plan-les-Ouates launched a tender based on concession for a dock-based system three years ago, before Intermobility began a lawsuit to protect their interests. Intermobility already operates 1100 bikes and 125 hubs in Geneva (not without more administrative troubles), but did not want to see its competitor in the canton and loose the public grant.

The federal tribunal finally agreed with Intermobility on the unfairness of the tender, erasing once again all progress to get a public bike-share system. Will Intermoiblity stay a step ahead of Publibike? I will remain neutral…

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