Local Authorities

What are City-Bikes?

Recently, there has been an explosion of interest in City Bike schemes, as the advantages of the bicycle as a means of urban transport have never been more pronounced than in the current context of global warming and congestion problems.

Most new city-bike systems make use of recent wireless networking and RFID technology to provide users with easy access to a bicycle at convenient locations throughout the city. They differ from traditional bicycle rental facilities because the innovative use of these technologies means that short one-way trips between different points in the city become possible. The bicycle can thus be introduced as a integral part of a city's transport network.

In general, new city-bike services have the following characteristics:

  • Fast and efficient access to bicycles via an automated "bike stations"
  • User identification by "Smart Card" or personal access code
  • 24/7 service availability
  • Bike stations located at convenient destinations and transport hubs throughout the city or city centre

What are the advantages of a City Bike scheme?

Cities all over the world are adopting City Bikes as an integral part of their transport networks, as the advantages of the bicycle as a means of transport become ever more apparent. Advantages in terms of energy savings, no pollution and less traffic congestion. The advantages of the bicycle as a mode of public transport can now be successfully exploited with the help of new technology.

In short, bike sharing can offer a number of potential benefits :

  • Provides a convenient, sustainable urban transport solution for residents and visitors alike.
  • Low cost infrastructure when compared to other modes of public transport.
  • Low maintenance and running costs when compared to other modes of public transport.
  • Reduces traffic congestion, by replacing short car trips within the city.
  • Non polluting transport, and it's healthy for the user.
  • Encourages bicycling generally

A well run and visible bike-sharing service can promote encourage the use of the bicycle for everyday transport. Experiences in Lyon ("Vélo'v") have shown that the majority of users did not cycle regularly before. General bicycle usage in Lyon was up by 44% within One year of the launch.

  • Encourages intermodal journeys

By providing bikes at stations, bus stations and metro stations people can easily continue their journey using a bicycle. This is particularly practical if the bike-sharing system is integrated into the transport ticketing system as a whole so that users can use their standard transport card to quickly take a bicycle.

  • Efficient use of public space

Using the FlexBike system, it is posible to provide spaces for 8 bicycles in the space that it takes to park 1 car (~11m² : 5m x 2,3m ).

  • Revitalise the city centre