On March 1, the trial of a new bike share system in the city of Groningen started under the name BikeShare 050. Hundred selected volunteers will test the system for six months. Special about this system is that the users can find the 20 available bikes with an app, make reservations and also can unlock the lock with it. Initiator is the collaborative organization Groningen Bereikbaar, which introduces measures to get motorists out of the rush hours and to present them with travel alternatives.
“Groningen wants to be easily accessible now and in the future. Herein, the bicycle plays an important role. Following on this conclusion, we introduce this bike share system based on an idea by Steven de Boer of EnTranCe, part of the Hanze University,” says director Wilko Huyink of Groningen Bereikbaar. Six parties participate in BikeShare 050: Noorderpoort college, Alfa-college, the Hanze University of Applied Sciences, the municipality of Groningen, the province of Groningen and Groningen Bereikbaar. Each party registers a number of users, a total of about hundred people.
The users of the shared bike receive a login code for the app. The bikes can be reserved up to four hours in advance. They are placed at a number of places in the city, such as schools, government buildings and P + R areas. Upon leaving, the user logs off the bike via the smartphone. During the trail phase the project further cooperates with the reintegration organization WerkPro. If a defect on the bike is registered, WerkPro will be notified and repairs this damage. Further, if too many shared bikes are located at one point in the city, WerkPro staff ensure a better dissemination.
The bike share system has several advantages. It causes fewer cars on the roads during rush hour and improves the accessibility of schools and offices in the city. Commuters can easily take the bike for the last part of their journey – from the edges of the city such as P + R sites to the city center. Students can bike downtown instead of taking the bus. This is particularly interesting for the three schools participating in the pilot. Additionally, Bikeshare 050 can contribute in tackling bicycle parking and reducing the number of abandoned bicycles in the city. “Also, with one eye looking to the southern ring road, it is good to encourage cycling among commuters. And of course, cycling is just healthy!” so Huyink.
During the trial Groningen Bereikbaar examines not only whether the technology works well and what the findings of the users are. If the trial is successful, the ambition is to place more shared bikes. More information is available at www.groningenbereikbaar.nl/bikeshare050.