When the dockless bike sharing concept started becoming trendy in metropolitan cities, many Chinese startups bet big on the idea, flooding cities all over the world with dockless bikes. Unfortunately for these startups, the bikes weren’t a big success, and they vanished as quickly from cities as they had come. That’s why you can find graveyards of endless dockless bikes in China, which begs the question: what to do with all these unused bicycles?
One man has come up with the best idea to date: buy them and donate them to students who need them. Entrepreneur Mike Than Tun Win has bought 10,000 bikes from bike-sharing companies which he plans to provide to school children across Myanmar, many of who walk miles to school and, more broadly, lack transportation for their families. Of course, giving out thousands of bicycles is no easy feat given that Myanmar has a population of over 50 million people and more than nine million students.
In order to properly distribute the bikes, the entrepreneur is currently in contact with government organizations and civic groups in Myanmar to identify potential beneficiaries. The primary focus is students aged 13-16 who walk 2km or more to school each day and part of families without transport. Further down the line, he is hopeful that he can inspire “global friends” to follow his lead and set up similar donation programs that will put the hundreds of thousands of abandoned bikes to work, instead of creating yet more urban trash.