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Bratislava and Trnava to get people on bikes

BRATISLAVA wants to begin an automated system of bicycle rentals for residents and visitors and the city government has launched a competition to arrange for it, with the goal to have the first phase ready this summer. Competitors can submit proposals until the end of April describing how they will cover operational costs, guarantee maintenance of the bicycles and offer a minimum of 11 stations, each with 10 bicycles.

City relaxation with a bicycle.(Source: Sme - Pavol Funtál)

BRATISLAVA wants to begin an automated system of bicycle rentals for residents and visitors and the city government has launched a competition to arrange for it, with the goal to have the first phase ready this summer. Competitors can submit proposals until the end of April describing how they will cover operational costs, guarantee maintenance of the bicycles and offer a minimum of 11 stations, each with 10 bicycles.

Ľubomír Andrassy, spokesman for Bratislava’s mayor, told the SITA newswire that in the July-August phase of the rental programme, eight stations will be established in Štefánikovo (at Eurovea) and Hviezdoslavovo squares, at the Nový most (New Bridge), in Janko Kráľ park in Petržalka, in Karlova Ves and at the Aupark, Eurovea and River Park shopping centres. Three more stations would be added in spring 2013 on downtown’s Poštová Street, at the University of Economics in Petržalka, and at the parking lot in Železná studnička, a large urban park.

The city wants the bicycle rental programme to operate year-round with special bicycles that are resistant to theft, disassembly and damage, and hopes the idea will help to relieve traffic and transport problems in the city centre along with its lack of parking places. Andrassy also added that the city has allocated €491,000 this year to build or enhance cycling routes, including completion of the Viedenská and Košická routes as well as for marking the first cycling circuit in the city.

Students in Trnava, members of the Back-Space civic association, are also supporting bicycling as a means of transport in an activity they call Kolokolo. The idea was initiated primarily by students from the Faculty of Mass Media Communication at Ss Cyril and Methodius University in Trnava who must walk 2.5 kilometres between three university buildings several times a day. The group decided to repair twenty unused bicycles and rent them for €15 for the whole semester.

“We want to show people, not only students, that it can be trendy, fun and sensible to use bicycles instead of cars. We would like to launch the whole project in September,” Patrik Hudák of Back-Space told SITA. The Kolokolo project will also install bicycle stands at the faculty buildings in the near future.

“And still later, we would like to install them near other busy spots in Trnava,” Hudák added. In its first year, the project is meant only for students at Ss Cyril and Methodius University but there are plans to enhance it and make it available to others as well.

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