Easybike is a user friendly bike-sharing system which allows access to shared bicycles in an automated way and charges the user with the real time of usage.
The increasing urban mobility needs require innovative solutions in order to improve the existing conditions and mitigate future negative impacts. In this context, BrainBox, a company specialised in IT services and solutions mainly related to bike-sharing systems and sustainable mobility, developed EasyBike the first Greek bike-sharing system. It allows access to shared and station-based bicycles, it calculates the real-time of use and the corresponding charge. The system can serve frequent users with a special electronic card along with member benefits as well as occasional users who can have immediate access to bicycles by using their mobile phone and a credit card.
The system consists of products and features that combine different technologies such as:
• Bicycles of special construction for urban environment
• Rental stations-infokiosks where transactions are made
• Bicycle parking stands near the stations
• Management software (interaction with the user, billing services, online tracking, malfunctions)
The citizen goes to a rental station and releases a bike with a distinct number which is assigned with him for the route. The bike can be returned at any station. The user simply places the bike in the special parking base where it is locked, its identity is recognized by the system and the total time of use is calculated.
EasyBike aims to serve both residents and visitors of an area and especially those looking to travel in an alternative and healthy way.
The company undertakes from the planning and counselling to the installation and technical support for smooth operation. The total cost varies depending on the size of the fleet and is estimated to 1500€-2500€ per bike. Various financing methods exist such as sponsorships, loans, European Funds, etc
Evidence of success
More than 25 bicycle sharing systems have been implemented in Greece by Easybike and a wide network of over 80 rental stations and 1,550 bicycles exists. Moreover, since 2008 these systems have demonstrated successful statistics with more than 14.000 users and more than 95.000 cycling hours. Additionally, 42% of Easybike users choose cycling over public transport while 32% choose cycling over their private car. Finally, more than 248.000 Tons of CO2 have been saved since 2008due to bike-sharing.
The choice of the location of stations is a decision that affects the system decisively. Also, the combination of Easybike with other locally available means of transportation and the seamless integration with available transport networks is needed to ensure complementarity and overall convenience.
Potential for learning or transfer
In order to be integrated into areas with different needs, Easybike is available in different versions offering specialized features. It incorporates features that make it simple and easy to use while maintaining safety and protection of users’ sensitive data. Also, the development of the system and the characteristics of the component parts are unique for each installation and are tailored-made for each region in order to meet its needs. For this reason, it is necessary to carry out an appropriate study at each interested area to gather mobility parameters, demographics, weather conditions and other information in order to draw important conclusions about the expected demand, fees, user behaviour and the need for support and redistribution.
More than 20 cities throughout Greece have installed Easybike applications and the system has been further developed and installed in other countries, such as Bulgaria, Turkey, Cyprus, Norway, Poland, etc., in cooperation with local companies.