Bicikelj celebrates 18 months at work
Having been in operation for 18 months, the city’s Bicikelj self-service bike-borrowing system has 40,000 users, who have made a total of more than a million journeys in this period.
On average, each of the system’s 300 bikes are borrowed at least six times a day. This means that each bike is on the road for a good two hours a day, as each loan lasts an average of a little over 22 minutes.
As revealed by research conducted in October 2012 among 311 residents of Ljubljana and the surrounding area, Bicikelj is rated as a very beneficial (the response of 79% of those asked) and a positive (the response of 95% of respondents) project.
Practically all who took part in the research had at least heard of Bicikelj or knew it well (98% of those asked), among whom a fifth had already used a bike in the scheme.
Of those respondents that had already used a Bicikelj bike, a good half used the system on a weekly basis. Of these, nearly 23% use a bike three times a week or more and over 28% once or twice a week. Those that rate the Bicikelj system as beneficial or very beneficial to Ljubljana amounted to 94% of those polled, which is in line with the survey evaluations of an extremely positive (52% of respondents) or positive (43%) project. In terms of its usefulness to them personally, survey participants gave it a middle rating (that the system benefits them personally was the opinion of 40% of respondees).
The research further shows that the better-educated are somewhat more familiar with the system and it is more often used by younger people (25% by those aged 15 to 30; 21% by those aged 31 to 46, and 8% by those aged 46 and over).
The Bicikelj self-service bike-borrowing system was set up by the City of Ljubljana and its private partner Europlakat in May 2011. Having been in operation for 18 months, the system is working as expected and users are taking care of the bikes. As yet, there has been no major damage to a bike, and most of what there has been is the minor wear-and-tear that you would expect with a frequently-used bike. Over the winter, the system will offer somewhat fewer bikes as it is expected that there will be less demand for them. This period will afford the chance to give the bikes their regular annual servicing.