One Czech City's Approach to DIY Bike-Share

While many big city bike-share systems hit potholes, one Czech city has experienced success with an entirely different – and more DIY – ‘micro-scheme’ approach fostered by a network of cafés.

“Buy a coffee, and we’ll lend you a free bike. This is the idea behind a novel kind of bike-share scheme in the Czech Republic,” writes Feargus O’Sullivan. “[A] group of cafes in Brno, the country’s second-largest city, have come together to offer customers free biking. Dropping in for a drink, all users need to do is put down a deposit of 300 Crown ($16) and they get a lock, a folding bike and a request to turn it in at the end of the day at any of the participating centers.”

“Major bike-share schemes typically involve major enterprises like Citibank and Barclays, but Brno’s participants are all small, local businesses – its hub is a café, bar and arts venue,” he notes. “While participants…need to take a long view, they clearly believe they can recoup their investment in a few bikes by encouraging more customers to buy drinks, by developing user loyalty and creating a city-wide publicity platform for themselves and the events they host.”

The system, which has experienced much popularity and very little theft or abuse, no-doubt benefits from some local conditions such as a tight-knit urban core, as well as loyal patrons and volunteers. While the system may not be replicable everywhere, it illustrates an altogether different and intriguing approach to bike-share, one without corporate sponsorship, new infrastructure, municipal involvement or public cash.

Full Story: Would You Like a Bike With That Coffee?

Comments

Prepare for the AICP* Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $245
AICP CTP Storefont Display

The first online AICP* CTP exam prep class

Are you ready to take the AICP* Certified Transportation Planner exam?
Priced at $245 for May exam!
Red necktie with map of Boston

Tie one on to celebrate your city

Choose from over 20 styles of neckties imprinted with detailed city or transit maps.
$44.95

Stay thirsty, urbanists

These sturdy water bottles are eco-friendly and perfect for urbanists on the go.
$19.00