Network density key to success, says La Poste
BERN, SWITZERLAND – Bern is now home to the 100th station of the Swiss bike-sharing scheme PubliBike. The new station at 37 Belpstrasse in Bern opened 11 October and is being inaugurated Friday.
PubliBike is “the first system to allow self-service bicycle rental by the hour on a national scale”, according to PostBus, which with founding partners CFF rail company and Rent a Bike is pushing to expand the scheme launched in summer 2011. The system, say the partners, allows:
“customers to rent a bicycle or e-bike for short distances at any time of day every day
of the week. The first station was put into operation in Lucerne in August 2011 as part of a testing
phase. Additional stations have been added on a continual basis ever since. The denser the network,
the more attractive the service. This is why PostBus Switzerland Ltd significantly increased the PubliBike
network by integrating the company velopass in April 2012. The acquisition has turned PostBus into the
national leader in the self-service bicycle rental market. Customers can access approximately 1,000
bicycles and e-bikes at the 100 stations.”
The group is making an effort to expand rapidly in German-speaking Switzerland, given that the network has a head start in French-speaking and Italian-speaking areas.
At a press conference in Bern Friday, the PubliBike system was explained:
“Use of the PubliBike service is simple. At www.publibike.ch, customers need only to register once and can
then simply turn up at the station terminal of their choice with their PubliBike card. Bicycles can be parked and
secured anywhere along the route by means of an integrated lock on the frame. To return their bicycle,
the user simply pushes it back into the bracket.
“For subscription holders the first half hour’s rental of a regular bicycle is free. Each subsequent hour costs two francs. The rate for e-bike rental is four francs per hour. It will soon be possible to pay for bicycle and e-bike rental by credit card on the spot for a slightly higher tariff. The aim is to offer subscribers uniform access to PubliBike by 2013: one card, one tariff system, one subscription, one invoice, one account, one emergency number.”