After shared yellow, red and white bicycles, citizens and visitors to Bratislava can now also use pink bikes. The Rekola project was officially launched on Monday, September 7. In the first phase, those interested can rent bicycles in the city centre and the boroughs of Ružinov, Petržalka, Karlova Ves and also at railway stations.
“We want to appeal not only to Bratislava residents, but also to those who commute from beyond Bratislava and use suburban transport,” said Jan Bureš, one of the coordinators of the Rekola project.
The ambition of the project, that its organisers call bicycle city public transport, is to improve traffic in the Slovak capital and encourage people to use bikes instead of cars or public transport.
There are already about 100 lightweight bicycles at the public's disposal and the fleet should be extended to about 300 by the end of next week.Related articleRead more
“The biggest advantage of our bicycles is that, unlike cars, they never get stuck in traffic jams,” writes Martin Žarnovickým, spokesperson for Rekola in a press release, adding that in the morning it takes a car almost an hour to get from Karlova Ves to the centre. On a bike the passenger will do it in just 15 minutes. “We also assume that bicycles will be widely used due to the fact that cyclists do not have to wear a face mask, which they would do on standard public transport.”
Peter Klučka, the national cycling coordinator welcomes the arrival of another bikesharing scheme to Bratislava.
“It will motivate people to use a bike instead of a car to get where they need to, in a healthier and smarter way,” said Klučka, as cited by the TASR newswire. “It is also another impetus for the city to improve conditions for cycling.”Related articleRead more
Tomáš Peciar, who is in charge of the development of bicycle transport for Bratislava city council, believes that the new service will offer an alternative to public transport in the city, as well as complement already existing similar systems.
“Our goal is to create conditions to reduce the number of cars and the negative impact they have on overall traffic permeability, but also the environment,” said Peciar.
So-far, bikesharing schemes in Bratislava include Slovnaft BAjk's yellow bicycles, Biele Bicykle (White Bicycles) run by Cyklokoalícia and the red bicycles of Verejný Bicykel (Public Bicycle in English) run by the telecom operator Antik Telecom. There are other shared schemes with mopeds and scooters.
How it works and for how much
The system works via a mobile application that users have to install on their mobile phones. A single use costs €1 while a one-month premium pass, enabling people to use pink bikes for an unlimited number of rides, costs €9. During the first week of operation Rekola bikes in Bratislava reduced the price of a one-month pass to €4.50. Holders of the Multisport card have two hours free of charge each day. The Rekola bikes will be available 24 hours per day and 365 days per year, meaning they will also be available during the winter.
The Czech Rekola project started with recycled bikes which were donated by the public, which is how the scheme got its name - recycled and KOLA which means wheels in Czech, giving REKOLA. Later, its organisers turned it into a standard bikesharing project and expanded from Prague, to Brno, Liberec and other cities.
7. Sep 2020 at 17:21 | Compiled by Spectator staff