REKOLA - (Kola means Bikes) for fast movements around the city. It was created with the idea that each city deserves its own shared bike system.
REKOLA was created in 2013 with the idea that each city deserves its own shared bike system.
The system was created on the initiative of two brothers Vitek and Filip Jezek, who through crowdfunding server Hithit managed to collect the necessary 5700 Euro to start the system and it was doubled by Vodafone (mobile operator). In autumn 2013, a trial operation could take place in Prague, which in spring 2014 went into official operation and expanded to other cities.
In the beginning, only donated bikes were used. Those had to be repaired and prepared for use. From this the name Rekola (Kola means Bikes). At the weekend workshops, they were serviced, painted pink, named each and gradually placed on the streets. The Rekola team is characterized by playfulness, which they bring into operation. In addition to bicycles, users could borrow snow shovels, skateboards, paddleboards, scooters, and electric bikes.
During the 2019 season, REKOLA appeared in 11 Czech cities and one Finnish city. More than 2000 bikes were in operation and could be used by over 250,000 registered users. In summer 2020, over 4,500 borrowings per day were realized.”
How works the rental service: install the apllication to the phone, scan the QR code on the bike and you will immediately get a combination to unlock the lock, for returning the bike: press “Return the bycicle” and take a picture of the securely locked lock.
The fees of the renting are each ride of 30 minutes costs 0,93 eur.
On the crowdfunding server Hithit, 5700 Euros was collected, and it was doubled by Vodafone (mobile operator) because the total sum needed for the pilot project was 11400 Euros.
Evidence of success
In 2013, there was a pilot project in one city (Prague). In the year 2015, they had 28.000 borrowings, and they expanded to more cities (including Ostrava city). The following year, they had 95.000 borrowings. In the year 2018, they extended to Finland (Vaasa), and they had more than 760 000 borrowings/ per year.
In the beginning, it was mostly older bicycles that someone donated. Then the bikes went through a renovation and were painted in pink. The company had to get sponsors to include uniform bikes and other means of transport (skateboards, longboards, paddleboards), etc.
Potential for learning or transfer
Other cities could learn from this example that even individuals can establish a bike-sharing system, and the system can be gradually expanded. Cities can act as sponsors or provide seed money for startups providing such sustainable mobility services
Bike-sharing already exists in many cities across the country, but it is still not the number one priority in transportation. Cycling paths should also be adapted to make cycling more enjoyable for people.