BIKER – agglomeration bicycle system
BiKeR − Białystok Bicycle Communication is an alternative means of transport that allows to quickly move around the city. It complements the transport system in Bialystok and 2 municipalities. To use the system, registration on www.bikerbialystok.pl and an initial fee of ca. 2 EUR are required. The first 25 min of each bike rental is free of charge. The initial fee, unless it is used for rentals longer than 25 min, is refundable when the account is closed or can be used for journeys above the free time limit. The bicycles are rented manually from a rental terminal or by the free mobile app. This means that bikes can be rented both when locked in an electric stand or secured with a chain lock without using the rental terminal. Bicycles are available for rent from 1 April to 31 October each year. In 2019 BiKeR cyclists had 66 stations and 681 bicycles at their disposal, including: 54 stations and 535 bicycles (including 20 children's bicycles, 20 tandems financed by the City of Białystok and 2 stations in each of 3 neighboring municipalities financed by the local municipalities. The whole system is managed by one operator – Nextbike Poland, which is why all stations are compatible not only in Bialystok and neighboring places, but also with other cities in Poland.This solution allows to rent a bike in a standardised way with the same user account in all cities where Nextbike Poland operates.

Resources needed

Annual system maintenance amounts to EUR 10 000 per bike station. In 2017-2019 the maintenance of the whole Biker system amounted to EUR 1.5 million. In addition, the City of Bialystok employs a person in the municipal office responsible for the organization and functioning of BiKeR.

Evidence of success

In 2014-2019, over 3 million rentals were made, and ca. 92,300 users were registered. So far, the best year in terms of rentals was 2018 with 680,000 rented bikes. In 2019 they were rented 484,000 times, and over 15,000 new users registered. Each bicycle was rented 2. 23 times a day in average. The best month was June 2019, with over 117,000 rentals (. The average trip length in 2019 was 16.32 minutes, which shows that users plan their bike ride within free 25 minutes.

Difficulties encountered

- Choosing the location of the stations via internet voting necessitated connectionto the grid and the Internet.
- A mobile bike and station repair service for technical support.
- From 2020 users can rent a bike via app from any place in the city, no need to dock the bikes.

Potential for learning or transfer

The development of the urban bicycle system can be the answer to the problems of congestion and urban pollution. It is a good solution in cities with compact buildings and a cramped center..It allows citizens to learn that a bicycle can be an excellent means of transport around the city, , even more effective than a car . It is also a good form for cooperation between neighbouring municipalities to create a coherent, eco-friendly public transport system which can be used to commute or for recreation. Initially, the system operated only in Białystok, now it is implemented by 3 additional neighboring municipalities and other local government are interested in the system. An added value was the involvement of society in choosing the location of bicycle stations via the Internet. The system is intuitive, and flexible. It can be adapted to the needs of small towns and large agglomerations. Operation and billing is transparent and the costs of rental are acceptable to society.
Project
Main institution
City Council of Białystok
Location
Podlaskie, Poland (Polska)
Start Date
May 2014
End Date
Ongoing

Contact

Adrian Kurza Please login to contact the author.