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17-12-2011 - Implementation and expansion of BSSs


In July 2010, London launched a central London Bike Sharing Scheme known as Barclays Cycle Hire. Phase 1 of the scheme covers an area of approximately 40 km2 within central London, covering the entire City of London and parts of eight London boroughs and some of the Royal Parks.

It opened with 315 docking stations based approximately every 300 m with a total of 5,000 bikes (by the end of Phase 1 in Spring 2011 the number of stations and bikes had increased to 6,000 bikes and 400 docking stations). The scheme was initially launched to registered users but since December 2010 has been open to casual users too.

Membership is available for single day, weekly or annual periods. Registered users are issued with an access key (cost £ 3) whereas casual users are provided with a pin code for use on the docking stations. The first 30 minutes of a journey is free with an escalating payment scale after this period.

London is the first major BSS to have a single corporate sponsor. Barclays have agreed to a 5 year contract to sponsor the scheme. Phase 2 is currently being planned and will be implemented during 2012. The second phase will add 2,000 bikes and 4,200 docking points within the expanded zone.

OBIS Activities

Within OBIS, the following activities were supported:

  • Knowledge transfer and regular progress information: Regular updates about the implementation status, usage figures and overall developments were provided for the OBIS consortium as well as for external stakeholders. Findings gained in the planning and implementation process were provided for the OBIS Handbook and further project material.

OBIS Impacts

The following overall developments were supported by the OBIS activities:

  • Implementation and expansion planning of Barclays Cycle Hire scheme;
  • Wider publicity about the benefits of BSS schemes as, where appropriate, it enabled publicity about the London scheme to link with OBIS providing a European dimension and broadening people’s awareness of different ways of implementing BSS schemes.

OBIS Partners Involved

  • TfL
  • CTC.

Lower Austria

The scheme FREIRADL operated from 2003 to 2009 in about 73 towns in Lower Austria. The system required staff for hiring bicycles. Most towns were provided with only one station, which was normally a depot in a representative building e.g. a town hall. The rental was for free.

The Leihradl-nextbike pilot project was launched in April 2009 in a small cluster of seven towns close to Vienna (which operates its own BSS) as a technological upgrade of Freiradl which stopped at the end of 2009. The user is charged € 1 per rental hour and € 5 per rental day. The new scheme offered 180 bicycles at 32 stations in 2009. Rental is automated, with phone-based access.

Following good results from the pilot project, LEIHRADL-nextbike was expanded to 650 bikes at 163 stations in 62 towns in 2010. The expansion focused on improving the interconnection between the BSS and the railway network. As a result of the collaboration between ÖBB (Austrian Railways) and LEIHRADL-nextbike, many BSS stations were located close to railway stations.

As part of the OBIS project, the Vienna University of Technology analysed the transition between FREIRADL and LEIHRADL-nextbike. The goal of the research was determine the effects of the evolution of the BSS from a manual system to an automatic system in rural areas.

OBIS Activities

Within OBIS, the following activities were supported:

  • Three telephone surveys in 2009 comparing bicycle ownership, public awareness, usage, trip purpose, impact on cycling, combination with public transport, barriers, satisfaction of users and willingness to pay with the respective service for FREIRADL and LEIHRADL-nextbike: the first survey took place in 20 towns where FREIRADL was implemented; the second was carried out as part of the pilot project of LEIHRADL-nextbike in seven towns; the third survey was a specific user survey with 40 registered users of the pilot project of LEIHRADL-nextbike;

  • Study of operational LEIHRADL-nextbike data analysing usage, usage development, duration of rents, origin and destination of routes, usage throughout the week, trip purposes in different operating areas and impact of pricing.

OBIS Impacts

The following overall developments were supported by the OBIS activities:

  • Implementation of the LEIHRADL-nextbike pilot scheme with 180 bikes at 32 stations: the scientific support of the Vienna University of Technology and the project OBIS encouraged the operator of bike-sharing in Lower Austria to undertake a technology development from FREIRADL to LEIHRADL-nextbike;

  • Expansion of the LEIHRADL-nextbike scheme to 650 bikes at 163 stations;

  • Improvement of BSS-PT integration: Numerous bike-sharing stations at the expansion of LEIHRADL-nextbike were located close to railway stations and price reductions were offered for railway card holders;

  • Introduction of 30 minutes free of charge for each ride in the region of Mödling: the operator of LEIHRADL-nextbike decided to offer 30 minutes for free in two operation regions; the number of rents per bicycle and usage of the bike-sharing scheme for daily mobility increased while leisure mobility decreased;

  • Scheme optimisation: The OBIS study has provided information to allow the operator to monitor the development of the scheme and so avoid negative impacts on usage.

OBIS Partners Involved

  • TUW


The Demonstration was intended to complement the existing public transport network in the city of Tczew with a bike sharing system in a year of celebration of the 750th anniversary of the city. It was intended to strengthen the message that the city of Tczew is aiming to become a leading cycling city in Poland. It was also intended to demonstrate the use of public bikes with a single citycard, issued for the regular users of the local bus transport network, providing i.a. a convenient access to the currently modernised regional railway station.

PSWE as the site leader in Poland has established close contacts with local authorities and the local PT operator Veolia. However, the implementation of a BSS in Tczew had been subject to a considerable delay. It resulted from substantial lags in the development of an electronic PT ticketing system. When finally introduced in April 2009, an electronic city card has become a matter of a serious dispute between local authorities and the PT operator. Due to financial losses incurred by the PT operator after the introduction of a new system, the operator had questioned its accuracy and thus the financial model agreed in the contract. In negotiations, both parties agreed to carry out an independent audit - which has not indicated any substantial malfunctions of the system. Despite this positive conclusion, the issue has put the BSS introduction on-hold for several months.

Another factor influencing development of Tczew’s BSS is the level of expenditure incurred by Tczew in 2010 and planned for the following years. Large projects financed from the EU Structural Funds (i.a. the construction of a public transport terminal) have repercussions on the city’s finances and its investment priorities. Thus the idea of BSS promoted as “75 bicycles for the 750th anniversary” was subject to postponement.

OBIS Activities

Within OBIS, the following activities were supported:

  • Promote planning for the implementation of a BSS in Tczew;
  • Strengthen local networks and political commitment.

OBIS Impacts

The following overall developments were supported by the project indirectly:

  • Audit of local electronic ticket system

OBIS Partners Involved

  • PSWE

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