It seems there is an interest in the new bike-sharing service in Bratislava as some 6,500 people have registered with it since it was launched on September 7. Moreover, nearly all of them bought at least one programme, and then added more than 5,500, Bratislava City Office spokesperson Zuzana Onufer informed.
During the past weekend, some 200 of the 550 yellow bikes that can be rented via the Slovnaft BAjk service, were in the streets of the capital. The reason for the lower number of bikes was the launch of the system. Moreover, the city was testing their logistics, Onufer said.
“In the upcoming days and weeks, the number of bikes will gradually increase,” she added, as quoted by the TASR newswire.
People can rent the bikes at one of the 73 dock stations in four boroughs (Old Town, New Town, Ružinov and Petržalka). Of them, the bike-sharing station in Pribinova steet, near Eurovea, was the most used, Onufer noted.
Vandals destroyed bicycles
Shortly after the launch of the new bike-sharing system, vandals destroyed at least eight of the bicycles. Someone broke the derailleurs, braces, and stole pedals, TASR reported. The Slovnaft BAjk service is calling on people to report possible vandalism and deliberate damage to the bicycles.
“Let us hold a minute of silence for those bicycles which were destroyed wilfully,” Slovnaft BAjk wrote on Facebook. “We are very sorry that such nasty things happen – like the deliberate destroying of our BAjks. People destroying bikes don’t harm us but mostly those who enjoy them and want to use bike-sharing. Thus, we ask you to send us notice if you witness anything like that.”
Slovnaft BAjk informed that the number of eight destroyed bikes may not be final, and called on people to inform them, or call the police if they see this happening.
What does bike-sharing offer?
Thanks to the bike-sharing service in Bratislava, the capital has enriched its range of alternative transport and shared services.
Within the initial phase of the city bicycle sharing project a total of 550 bicycles at 73 pick-up points will be available for people in Bratislava, with the number to be increased to 750 bikes at 73 pick-up points within one year, TASR wrote.
The new project is aimed at all road users and the people concerned, including the municipality and the police, as well as motorists, cyclists and pedestrians, said national cycling coordinator Peter Klučka.
“Bike-sharing is a huge opportunity, but at the same time I see it as a call to build safer cycle routes and at a faster pace,” Klučka told TASR.
The importance of safety as well as mutual respect and tolerance on the roads was stressed by Gabriel Szabo of Slovnaft, which co-funded the project.
“I’d like to invite all road users in Bratislava, be they motorists, cyclists or pedestrians, to respect others on the roads and treat others as they would want to be treated,” he said, as quoted by TASR. “Health is the most valuable thing.”
Slovnaft Bajk cost around €2 million, with the city of Bratislava investing half a million euros and Slovnaft the remaining €1.5 million.
During the first few months registered users will be able to use the city bikes for a discounted cost of €1.