If you thought that easy bike renting was a thing just for Europeans, change your mind. A Japanese company called Bike Off Co. started a free bicycle rental service for college students. But bicycles cost money, so where does income come from? From illegally parked or abandoned two-wheelers. Identifying the usable bikes, repairs, and maintenance costs are covered by advertising on their website.

The remarkable thing is that this company used to sell those bikes at a very low price, which resulted in more abandoned bikes or carelessly parked. By renting them, users must (well, should) return them at some point. The company is expanding this model in cities and colleges around Japan.

An added note: public rental services in Europe are managed by advertising companies (JCDecaux for Paris and Lyon and ClearChannel in Barcelona).

[Source: Japan for Sustainability]

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