Bike Sharing

This measure was provided by THE ASSOCIATION FOR URBAN TRANSITION - ATU in 2014 under the CH4LLENGE project, financed by the European Commission.


Bike-sharing, or public bicycle programmes, have received increasing attention in recent years with initiatives to increase cycle usage, improve the first mile/last mile connection to other modes of transit, and lessen the environmental impacts of our transport activities.

The concept of a sharing programme is to make bicycles free or affordable for users as an urban means of transportation, in order to limit the increase of automobile traffic and the resulting pollution and congestion problems. It has effects on increasing the level of cycling population, decreasing greenhouse gases, and improving public health.

Because of the small distances, the costs of implementation are low and the speed of implementation is relatively quick.

Originally a concept from the revolutionary 1960s, bike-sharing’s growth had been slow until the development of better methods of tracking bikes with improved technology. This development gave birth to the rapid expansion of bike-sharing programmes throughout Europe and now most other continents during this decade.

Over the past ten years, bicycle-sharing schemes have developed from being interesting experiments in urban mobility to mainstream public transport options in cities as large and complex as Paris and London. Ten years ago, there were five schemes operating in five countries (Denmark, France, Germany, Italy and Portugal) with a total fleet of 4,000 bicycles (the largest was Copenhagen with 2,000 bicycles). Today there are an estimated 375 bicycle -sharing schemes operating in 33 countries in almost every region of the world using around 236,000 bicycles (the largest is Hangzhou with an estimated 40,000 bicycles).

Introduction

Bicycle-sharing programmes are not a new concept. The first project was implemented in 1965 in Amsterdam with the Witte Fietsen, or White Bikes programme. In 1991, a 2nd generation of bike-sharing programme was born in Farsø and Grenå, Denmark, and in 1993 in Nakskov, Denmark. It was not until 1995 that the first large-scale 2nd generation bike-sharing programme was launched in Copenhagen as Bycyklen, or City Bikes, with many improvements over the previous generation.

The first of the new class of 3rd generation bike-sharing programmes was Bikeabout in 1996 at Portsmouth University in UK. Students could use a magnetic stripe card to rent a bike. This and the following 3rd generation of bike-sharing systems were improved with smart technological enhancement. One of the biggest 3rd generation bike-sharing programmes implemented is the one in Lyon by JCDecaux with 15,000 members and bikes being used 6.5 times a day.

The concept of a sharing programme is to make bicycles free or affordable for users as an urban means of transportation to limit the increase of automobile traffic and the resulting pollution and congestion problems. It has had significant effects on increasing the level of cycling population, decreasing greenhouse gases, and improving public health.

Bicycle sharing systems were promoted as part of intermodal transportation, allowing people to shift easily from transit to bicycle and back again. These schemes usually differ from traditional bicycle rental services since they are concerned with the daily mobility rather than with leisure. In contrast to the conventional renting schemes, bike-sharing systems can be used as a one way means of transport for either mono-modal or intermodal trips. As a flexible mobility option they can be considered as an additional part of public transport systems.

Terminology

Bicycle sharing systems are progressively more popular systems where bicycles are made available on a large scale in a city allowing people to have ready access to public bikes rather than relying on their own bicycles. The short-term rental scheme allows bicycles to be picked up from any self-service point for short distance journeys to another self-service point without the costs or the responsibilities of ownership.  

Public-Use Bicycles (PUBs), Bicycle Transit, Bike-sharing, Smart Bikes are all terms used to describe the system.

A manual bicycles-sharing system is one in which transactions related to taking out and returning a bicycle are supervised by a staff member. In some cases, they involve information technology for keeping track of the use of bicycles and monetary transactions.

An automated bicycle-sharing system reflects the fact that transactions related to taking out and returning bicycles are unsupervised and rely on self-service technology.

Docking Stations can be:

  • Fixed-permanent where bicycles are attached to racks trough a specialized coupling system, therefore acting as “stations”;
  • Fixed-portable which refers to service terminals and bicycle stands that are mounted onto sets of rectangular platforms to form two types of modules.  The main ones have a service terminal and three bicycles docks. As the stations are solar powered and wirelessly networked, they are completely self-contained and no wiring is required for installation. As a result, the station installation consists merely of placing the modules in the desired location and there is no need to anchor them to the ground. The time needed to erect or disassemble them is 20 minutes and they can be moved easily to respond to demand or to provide mega-docking stations for special events. (New York City Departament of City Planning, 2009)
  • Flexible: a flexible bicycle-sharing system is one in which bicycles do not need to be locked to designated racks. In this case, they can be locked with chains or cables to anything that can be used (a traffic sign, a parking meter, etc.)

Description

Bike Fleet

Fleet bikes should be distinctive, with special design for effortless city use. They should be clearly branded to increase their visibility. Bikes typically come with full fenders, chain guards and, in some cases with bike locks. Sometimes bikes are equipped with a Global Position System (GPS) unit, with Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tag, or other type of tracking mechanism. This function is typically used in fleet management and location of lost or stolen bikes.

Parking and Locking Mechanisms

There are two major types of locking technology, both fully automated:

  1. Bikes lock to either a rack or kiosk where users collect and drop bikes using a credit card or other card with a magnetic strip. This is commonly referred to as a smart card system and they are generally simple to operate, making them accessible to the general public. Stations using smart card systems generally require:
    1. A bar, post or other physical structure to lock bicycles between uses;
    2. A computerized system to check bicycles in and out;
    3. A power source to control check-in/check-out and track bicycles.
  1. Bikes are secured using an electronic lock mounted on the bike. Users must phone the operating company to receive the code to the lock. This is commonly referred to as a dial-a-bike, or call-a-bike system. These systems require very little infrastructure as the necessary mechanisms are mounted on the bike itself.

01
Figure 1
: Bike-sharing systems in Barcelona and London. Source: Ana Drăguțescu

Station Design, User Interface and Check-in/Check-out procedure

All bike-sharing schemes require a user interface to collect and retrieve bicycles, through a check-in/check-out system. The interface should be simple and easy to understand and it should operate in several languages.

Stations should provide clear directions on how to access and return a bicycle. Other recommended elements and design guidelines include:

  • Instructions on where and how to return bicycles;
  • Cost and pricing information;
  • Contact information to report damaged bikes;
  • Maps of nearby stations;
  • Quick access to avoid queues and maximize safety.

Bike-sharing systems might require users to register prior to bike check-out. The best systems offer multiple options to register and pay for bike check out (e.g.smart card or credit card.)

Smart card systems allow quicker, more convenient bicycle access, as users are not required to make a phone call in order to check bikes in or out. Programmes using a smart card system generally do not provide users with a lock.

Why introduce bike sharing?

Rationale

The fundamental goal of bicycle-sharing is to expand and integrate cycling into transportation systems, so that it can more readily become a daily transportation mode.

The idea of bicycle sharing came as an alternative solution to public transportation for small distances within the 1km to 5km range, for the “first/last mile”, the distance which is considered to be too far to walk between home/workplace and public transportation. Because of the small distances, the costs of implementation are low and the speed of implementation is relatively quick. In Paris, 700 docking stations and 10.000 bicycles were installed in less than half a year, numbers that doubled in the following 6 months.

The main objectives of introducing these types of schemes are:

  • Improve interchange between different modes of transport and promote sustainable travel;
  • Create a new individual public transport system for citizens’ habitual needs;
  • Implement a sustainable health-inducing service fully integrated with the city’s public transport system;
  • Promote the bicycle as a common means of transport, for long and short distances and raise its status;
  • Improve quality of life, reduce air and noise pollution, reduce congestion, reduce road and parking supply costs, reduce number of accidents. (Curran, 2008).

Barriers

Theft and Vandalism

Even though user identification technologies and custom procedures are used, theft or vandalism of the bicycles cannot be avoided. Using incentives such as fees for one year subscriptions is not enough because the money spent does not cover repair costs.

Paris has the highest rate of theft and vandalism. Within the first two years of operation, nearly the whole system fleet of 20.600 bicycles had to be replaced at a cost of 400 euros per bicycle.

Helmets

The main obstruction in some regions to implementation of bike-sharing schemes is the mandatory requirement to wear a helmet. For many years it was thought that no Australian city would install a bicycle-sharing system because of the national mandatory helmet laws. But in 2010 in Melbourne, a pilot-programme was opened whereby users can purchase helmets for 5$ from vending machines and either keep them, or return them to a convenience store for recycling and receive 3$ back.

Demand impacts

Bike-sharing schemes increase the number of cyclists, encourage public transport use and contribute to decreasing greenhouse gases and improving public health.

They have raised cycling modal share between 1.0 - 1.5 percent in cities with previous low cycling use. Cycle mode share in Barcelona was 0.75 percent in 2005 and increased to 1.76 percent in 2007, the year Bicing was launched (Romero 2008).

There is limited data available on changes in mode of travel before and after the introduction of bicycle-sharing. Data from Barcelona, Lyon, Montreal and Paris suggests that there is little impact on reducing car use.

The percentage of car or motorcycle trips replaced by bicycle-sharing in these cities ranges from 2% to 10%. A user survey of the Vélib’ system undertaken in 2008 found that 19% of users state that Vélib’ allowed them to make trips that would have otherwise been impossible and that 20% of users stated they used cars less.

Responses and situations
Response Reduction in road traffic Expected in situations
Provision of specific locations where bicycles are picked up and convenient drop off locations combined with cycling lanes might have an impact on departure time.
Cyclist might change route in order to meet a bicycle pick-up location.
Improved mobility by bicycle might result in more use of local facilities and thus shorter shopping trips in the long run.
Increasing the number of cycling trips might decrease car trips, but also new cycling trips might be generated.
Bicycles provision may encourage mode switch from car to cycling and public transport especially on shorter trips.
Some areas might still need to be accessed by car, especially long distance ones.
Unlikely to be any impact.
= Weakest possible response = Strongest possible positive response
= Weakest possible negative response = Strongest possible negative response
= No response

Short and long run demand responses

Demand responses
Response 1st year 2-4 years 5 years 10+ years
 
 
 
 
 
 
= Weakest possible response = Strongest possible positive response
= Weakest possible negative response = Strongest possible negative response
= No response

Supply impacts

There are no impacts on supply.

Financing requirements

The capital and annual operating costs of bicycle-sharing systems vary greatly, depending on the scheme, population density, service area, and fleet size.

Capital costs include bicycle purchase, docking station equipment and construction, licensing or purchase of the back-end system used to operate the equipment, member access cards, purchase or rental of maintenance and distribution vehicles, and installation. From the analysis of several systems shown in the table below, capital costs can range between $3,000 and $4,500 per bicycle. (New York City Department of City Planning, 2009).

02
Figure 2: Capital costs of bicycle-sharing systems around the world

Operating costs include maintenance, distribution, staff, insurance, office space, storage facilities, website hosting and maintenance, electricity charges for the docking stations, membership cards and storage fees. From analysis of several systems shown in Figure 3, operating costs range between $1,200 and $1,700 per bicycle, excluding the estimates made for New York. (New York City Department of City Planning, 2009).

03
Figure 3: Operating costs of bicycle-sharing systems around the world. Source: New York City Department of City Planning 2009. Bike-Share Opportunities in New York

Most systems are subsidised, with the deficit between user fees and total costs made up through business models that use general revenues, advertising revenues, parking revenues, government grants or sponsorship.
Figure 4 highlights the user fees in four cities across Europe.

05
Figure 4: User fees in Lyon, Paris, Barcelona, Frankfurt. Source: Curran, A, 2008. TransLink Public Bike System Feasibility Study. Vancouver: Quay Communication Inc.

Over the years, several models have evolved for developing, operating and funding bicycle -sharing schemes. Operators include local governments, public transport agencies, advertising companies, for-profit companies, and non-profit organisations.  Funding mechanisms include user fees, municipal budgets, and resources from public-private partnership agreements.

A lot of the bicycle-sharing systems are operated as public private parterships (PPP) with large advertising companies like JCDecaux, Clear Channel or Cemusa. Usually, the city municipality provides the company with the necessary advertising space on street furniture or billboards in exchange for the companies providing and operating a bicycle-sharing system.  The advantage of this situation is that the municipality has to pay little or nothing for the programme to get started, because no direct public funding is needed.  Still, the municipality has to forego the advertising revenues.

06
Figure 5: Overview of bike-sharing business models

Expected impact on key policy objectives

Most bicycle -sharing schemes have been introduced in cities that have established sustainable urban transport policies and plans. In these cities, bicycle-sharing is seen as a sustainable urban mobility element and in most cases the necessary cycling infrastructure was therefore developed before the scheme was implemented. Equally important to the success of bicycle-sharing is the role of public transport. From the limited data available, it is obvious that most bicycle-sharing trips are made as part of a public transport trip. The integration of bicycle-sharing and public transport within the framework of a sustainable urban mobility policy is therefore important.

Evaluations focus on use of the programme rather than the impact on bicycling overall. Recorded rentals per bicycle per day rated an average of 5–12 in Paris, 6.4 in Lyon, and 6 in Barcelona. Estimated trips generated per day by bicycle sharing range from 19,100 in Lyon, to 30,000 in Barcelona and 70,000–145,000 in Paris. (DeMaio, 2009a; Pucher et al, 2010).
Bicycle share reportedly increased from 0.75% in 2005 to 1.76% in 2007 in Barcelona, from 1.0% in 2001 to 2.5% in 2007 in Paris and from 0.5% in 1995 to 2% in 2006 in Lyon, with a 75% increase in bicycle counts from 2005 to 2007. In London, 68% of OYBike trips were for leisure or recreation; 6% of users reported shifting from driving and 34% from transit, while 23% said they would not have travelled (Pucher et al, 2010).

Contribution to objectives

Objective

Scale of contribution

Comment

  Increase in cycling modal share as a fast and highly efficient mean of transport.
  Increased levels of bicycle use tend to reduce the traffic speed and to shift some of the car use towards bike use.
  If car use is reduced, air and noise pollution are reduced.
  Some groups of people with lower incomes may benefit due to improved facilities for cycling.
  If provided, cycle lanes will improve safety for cyclists particularly as cycling levels increase. Accident rates per kilometre cycled invariably fall as cycling levels increase.
  The existence of cycling as a viable alternative  for short trips may improve the local economy.
  Public-private partnership. Favourable to local authorities that normally invest very little.
= Weakest possible positive contribution = Strongest possible positive contribution
= Weakest possible negative contribution = Strongest possible negative contribution
= No contribution

Expected impact on problems

Contribution to alleviation of key problems

Problem

Scale of contribution

Comment

Congestion

Take-up of cycling increases it is likely to contribute to a reduction in congestion.

Community impacts

Take-up of cycling reduces traffic and encourages community activity.
Environmental damage By reducing traffic volumes and possibly speeds – reduce of CO2 emissions, NOx, particulates and other local pollutants.
Poor accessibility Better accessibility for those people without a car that may be able to cycle.
Social and geographical disadvantage Access to affordable bicycles for those without a car available.
Accidents Reduction of traffic volumes through modal shift to bicycles.
Economic growth The existence of cycling as a viable alternative  for short trips may improve the local economy.
= Weakest possible positive contribution = Strongest possible positive contribution
= Weakest possible negative contribution = Strongest possible negative contribution
= No contribution

Expected winners and losers

Winners and losers

Group

Winners/Losers

Comment

Large scale freight and commercial traffic

Might benefit from the car use shift to bicycle use.

Small businesses

Small, local businesses can benefit from passing cyclists and improved local access.

High income car-users

No impact likely.

Low income car-users with poor access to public transport

Access to affordable bicycles as an alternative to, or access to, public transport.

All existing public transport users

As a first/last mile mean of transport, bike-sharing system might increase low income people’s accessibility to Public Transport.

People living adjacent to the area targeted

Easy access to bike-sharing facilities; reduction of car traffic and public realm improvements.
Cyclists including children Access to affordable bicycles without purchasing one.
People at higher risk of health problems exacerbated by poor air quality Better air quality due to reduced car traffic.

People making high value, important journeys

Cycling is generally the fastest and most reliable mode for peak hour trips.
The average car user May provide an alternative for certain journeys and reduce congestion on others.
= Weakest possible benefit = Strongest possible positive benefit
= Weakest possible negative benefit = Strongest possible negative benefit
= Neither wins nor loses

Barriers to implementation

Scale of barriers
Barrier Scale Comment
Legal There are few legal barriers except, potentially, relating to private ownership.
Finance Costs to the city authority are typically low.
Governance Usually involves collaboration between the city and a private operator.
Political acceptability Such schemes are generally supported politically.
Public and stakeholder acceptability Such schemes are generally supported, except where docking stations disrupt other activities.
Technical feasibility There are no significant technical barriers.
= Minimal barrier = Most significant barrier

Barcelona Bicing systems

Bicing logo
Figure 6: Bicing, bike-sharing scheme in Barcelona logo. Source: REPORT / European Best Practices in Bike Sharing Systems. Panos Antoniades; Andreas Chrysanthou, 2009

Barcelona’s shared bicycle program, Bicing, was launched in March 2007. The name is derived from bici short Catalan or Spanish form for bicycle and the Airport code for Barcelona which is BCN. It is one of a series of extremely successful 3rd generation shared bicycle programmes recently deployed in Europe. Its purpose is to cover the small and medium daily routes within the city in a climate friendly way with no pollution or noise, reclaiming the urban streets. In order to use it, a yearly membership is needed.

Currently the network consists of more than 400 stations to check-in and check-out more than 3000 bicycles distributed throughout the system. The stations are situated across the flat areas of the city with no more than 300 to 400 metres between two stations. Most of the bike-sharing stations are located next to public transport stops to allow for intermodal use. Metro Stations usually have signs pointing to the locations of nearest Bicing stations.

The bikes can be borrowed from and returned to any station in the system, making it suitable for one way travel.  Each station encloses 15 to 30 parking slots to fix and lock the bicycle.

To rent a bike the contactless RFID-card has to be swiped at a service station to be personally identified by the system, which then unlocks a bike from the support frame. Bicycles can be used for the first 30 minutes with no extra cost, with subsequent half hour blocks (up to 2 hours) costing 0.50 euro each. Use of a bicycle for more than 2 hours at a time is discouraged with a penalty rate of 3 euros per hour, but also with the possibility of having your membership cancelled after a certain number of uses in excess of 2 hours. To return a bicycle the bike has to be placed in a spare slot at a Bicing station: the bike is recognized automatically and is locked into place.

Specialised vans are used to redistribute Bicing bicycles between the stations should it be required to even out usage patterns. However, as of November 2007, the number and frequency of vans is not able to keep up during the peak hours, making it very difficult to find a spot at which to return the bike. To use the system you must become a member. Subscription to the system is possible through the Bicing website (www.bicing.com), or through visiting the service office. The provision of a credit card number is necessary. It takes ten days to receive the card.

The Bicing member cards are only sent to addresses in Catalonia in an attempt to prevent tourists from using the system. This limitation was imposed upon the City Council by pre-existing local bike hire companies grouped under Bicitours. Bicitours and the City Council agreed as well to enforcing a user block to change bikes of ten minutes (that is, when docking a bike, the user is blocked for ten minutes before being able to leave with another bike). As a result tourists are barred from using what is officially denominated a "public transport system" - a bit like barring tourists from using the metro or buses.

The system is paid for mostly by local car drivers with an effective on-street parking control distributed throughout a large part of the densely populated inner-city. The money is then used to pay 2.23 million € annually to the system operator for a period of ten years. The yearly user fee is 30 €, which makes it the city's cheapest public transport service.

The sharply increased rate after 2 hours of continued use ensures each individual bike is used between 10 and 15 times a day by different people.

More than 95% of the rides are shorter than 30 minutes. Although there are over 90,000 registered users as of September 2007 only one third are using the system on a regular basis.

As of November 2007 the system was used more than 2,750,000 times, representing 8,000,000 km of travel. As the bike sharing system was received by the inhabitants with great enthusiasm, it is currently expanded to other parts of the city and equipped with additional stations within the area already covered. By spring 2008 the number of bicycles reached 6000 at 400 stations to cover approximately 70% of the city area, except areas with slopes of more than 4% and the hilly area of Montjuic and Tibidabo. By now the network has been extended through Ciutat Vella, Example and some parts of Saint Martí and Gràcia.

The spatial layout of a city has an obvious influence on the movement patterns and social behaviours found therein. Barcelona has a mixture of residential, commercial, and recreational areas connected via narrow streets, one-way avenues and a multitude of public transportation options. In each station the daily routines, culture and location is reflected on the station’s usage pattern. The usage of Bicing involves a multitude of underlying motivating factors such as commuting, shopping and going to eat.

Daily bicycle trips

 

2010

2011

2012

2013

%13/10

%13/12

Bicycle

106,521

118,151

124,333

126,502

18,8%

1,7%

% of total trips

1.37%

1.51%

1.61%

1.65%

-

-

“Bicing” trips

33,699

44,217

49,282

43,633

29.5%

-11.5%

% of “bicing” trips out of the total number of cycling trips

31.64%

37.42%

39.64%

34.49%

-

-

 

Contribution to objectives
Objective Scale of contribution Comment
  Significant increases (18.8%) in cycling represent an improvement in transport efficiency, especially in the longer term.
  There is no specific information on modal shift from car to cycling or public transport, but probable that some transfer from car has occurred since cycling share increased.
  The likely reductions in car use has probably contributed to a reduction in environmental impacts.
  No direct evidence presented, but the improved acceptability and viability of cycling were a benefit to some of the socially excluded.
  There is no specific information, but increases in levels of cycling reduce the number of accidents.
  No direct evidence presented, but the impressive number of stations and good coverage of the city should lead to economic growth for local shops.
  The system is paid mostly by local car drivers with an effective on-street parking control distributed throughout a large part of the densely populated inner-city.
= Weakest possible positive contribution = Strongest possible positive contribution
= Weakest possible negative contribution = Strongest possible negative contribution
= No contribution

German system “Call-a-Bike”

Call-a-Bike-Fahrrad_der_DB.jpg Figure 7: One of Deutche Bahn’s Call-a-bike bicycles in Berlin

Call a bike is a commercial public bicycle service that is offered by DB Rent, which is a subsidiary company of Deutsche Bahn (DB, German Rail). The service started in October 2001 in Munich. It has expanded to other German cities and is now available in Berlin, Cologne and Frankfurt. 4,200 specially designed silver-red bicycles are available for rent in these cities from spring to fall.

The programme is often considered a late ‘second generation’ or early ‘third generation’ public bike system. It applies a mid-tech, mobile technology dependent solution, to secure and release the bikes, designed so users can easily pick them up and drop them off in many locations, normally without specific parking stations. The DB bikes are typically left parked near road junctions or intersections throughout the city or at specific rental points in the case of Stuttgart. Once registered, users can ring the phone number printed on the side of any bike and read out the unique number printed on the digital box (to identify which bike it is). They are then given a pin code to type in which releases the in-built lock. The user’s account is then timed and debited for as long as the bike is used. When cyclists want to drop the bike off they can park the bike at any major junction (or rental point for Stuttgart) and ring again to be given a new number to tap in and inform the location of the bike, which terminates the use for that journey.

To register, users can do so online or by phoning a service hotline and pay a registration fee of €5.00 which is then credited to towards the first rental invoice. With the exception of Stuttgart (first half hour is free) there is a minimal hire charge of €0.08 per minute, or €0.06 per minute with a “BahnCard”(German railcard). For a 24 hour period the charge is €9.00 and weekly rentals are available at €60. There are also yearly flat rates available for BahnCard holders allowing free hire for half an hour in all cities; prices range from €25-€99/year.

Currently the call a bike service is not financially self-sustaining. However, it is not the goal of DB to make a profit from the service. It is rather aimed at a break-even and at the attraction of rail customers that use the call a bike service in a trip chain.

The system is based on specifically designed bikes, which are visibly distinct from any commercially available model and are well branded with the DB identity. All the components are non-compatible with other bikes. Accordingly there is likely to be no application or resale market for components, making theft of the bikes or components unlikely. The bikes provide an inexpensive and flexible form of public transport, and once the system is mastered, users can usually cycle around the city for less cost than a one-day travel pass.

Strengths

  • Registration fee is returned (or part returned) in the first rental
  • Relatively cheap compared to other European schemes. It is a scheme that enables visitors to navigate the city for less than the cost of a travel card. Easy to return bikes, owing to flexibility of parking policy

Weaknesses

  • Without specific rental locations in most cities it can be difficult to locate bikes especially if a group rental is required.
  • Theft has reportedly been a problem.
  • Visual explanation on the scheme for foreign visitors, without a good level of German, is limited.
  • Early versions of the scheme were shown by several websites to be ‘hackable’, enabling the unmonitored and free release of bikes, although it is believed this has now been addressed via the programming of the DB Bikes' electronic system.

The total number of bicycle trips almost quadrupled from 1975 to 2001 (275% increase); bicycle share increased from 5% of trips in 1990 to 10% in 2007; 38% decline in serious injuries 1992–2006.

In 2004, Call a Bike had approx. 71,000 clients in Germany (+40% users compared to 2003) and around 380.000 trips have been made with the bicycles (+19%). Main users tend to be morning commuters who extend public transportation trips with a bicycle. In the afternoons and evenings, users tend to shop or engage in leisure activities (such as visiting cinemas). Bike services tend to peak on sunny days and weekends.

The main bike scheme stakeholder is DB Rent, which is closely linked to German Rail and their rail services. Call a bike is part of DB’s strategy to provide value added mobility services to its customers apart from pure rail transport and to enable door-to-door mobility chains.

DB Rent is still expecting an increase in the number of call-a-bike users. A further expansion of the scheme to other large German cities is possible. The user group of multimodal travellers who are willing to combine different modes in a trip chain is growing.

Andreas Knie, head of intermodal services at DB Rent, estimates that approx. 400,000-500,000 clients would in the short run be willing to use such services as DB Car Sharing or Call a Bike, which are both intermodal products that can be used in a trip chain combined with a rail leg of the journey. He sees an even larger long term potential of 3-4 million clients in Germany.

 

Contribution to objectives
Objective Scale of contribution Comment
  Significant increases in the number of users (40% in 2004 compared to 2003). Impressive increase of bicycle trips from 1975 to 2001.
  Increase of 5% of cycling share from 1990 to 2007, contribute to a liveability improvement.
  No evidence on this issue, but the reductions in car use must have contributed to a reduction in environmental impacts.
  The increased affordability of cycling as an alternative mean of transport for increasing numbers of people will benefit also the less wealthy and socially excluded.
  38% decline in serious injuries 1992–2006.
  No direct evidence presented, but the impressive number of stations and good coverage of the city should lead to economic growth for local shops. Travel time savings and cost related to trip savings.
  Currently the call a bike service is not financially self-sustaining. However, it is not the goal of DB to make a profit of the service. It is rather aimed at a break-even and at the attraction of rail customers that use the call a bike service in a trip chain.
= Weakest possible positive contribution = Strongest possible positive contribution
= Weakest possible negative contribution = Strongest possible negative contribution
= No contribution

Contribution to objectives

Contribution to objectives
Objective Barcelona Bicing system German system “Call-a-bike”
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
= Weakest possible positive contribution = Strongest possible positive contribution
= Weakest possible negative contribution = Strongest possible negative contribution
= No contribution

Contribution to problems

Contribution to alleviation of key problems
Objective Barcelona Bicing system German system “Call-a-bike”
Congestion
Community impacts
Environmental damage
Poor accessibility
Social and geographical disadvantage
Accidents
Economic growth
= Weakest possible positive contribution = Strongest possible positive contribution
= Weakest possible negative contribution = Strongest possible negative contribution
= No contribution

Appropriate contexts

Appropriate area-types
Area type Suitability
City centre
Dense inner suburb
Medium density outer suburb
Less dense outer suburb
District centre
Corridor
Small town
Tourist town
= Least suitable area type = Most suitable area type

Antoniades, P., Chrysanthou, A. (2009) European Best Practices in Bike Sharing Systems

Biezus, L. and Rocha, AJO. (1999) Does congestion management improve public transit? Logos Engenharia.

DeMaio, P. (2009) Bike-sharing: History, Impacts, Models of Provision, and Future, Journal of Public Transportation

Kaplan, S., Manca, F., Nielsen, T.A and Prato, C.G. (Intentions to use bike-sharing for holiday cycling: an application of the Theory of Planned Behavior, Lyngby

Midgley, P. (2011) Bicycle Sharing Schemes: Enhancing Sustainable Mobility in Urban Areas

O’Brien, O., Cheshire, J., Batty, M. (2013) Mining bicycle sharing data for generating insights into sustainable transport systems, London

Pucher, J., Dill, J. and Handy, S. (2009) Infrastructure, programs, and policies to increase bicycling: An international review, USA

Romero, C. (2008) SpiCycles in Barcelona. Presented to Chamber of Commerce and Industry, December 19, in Bucharest, Romania 

http://www.eltis.org/index.php?id=13&study_id=198