Free shared bike program in Prague extended for four years

People can use a shared bike for 15 minutes twice a day to complete their journeys from public transit stops. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 22.07.2022 12:58:00 (updated on 22.07.2022) Reading time: 2 minutes

Shared bikes will continue to be free in Prague for electronic public transit coupon holders for 15 minutes twice a day for at least the next four years.

The idea is that people can use a bike to get from their home to the nearest public transit stop and then use another bike to get from their final stop to work, school, or whatever their destination is.

People with a valid electronic coupon for Prague will continue to be able to rent a shared bike for free for 15 minutes up to twice a day. These coupons can be stored on Litačka cards, some bank payment cards, Czech Railways’ In Karta cards, and smartphones.

The service can be used in Prague by people who connect their active Lítačka account with the mobile applications of bike share providers Rekola or Nextbike. The bike app remembers the connection, so there is no need to re-register each time. The bikes are then unlocked via the app and can be used for free for 15 minutes twice a day. Details on logging in and connecting Lítačka accounts with the accounts of individual bikesharing providers can be found on the PID website.

If people want to use the bikes for more than 15 minutes, they can pay for the additional time. Both Rekola and Nextbike have subscription plans for users that can be used in combination with the free 15 minutes.

The pilot program between Prague Integrated Transport (PID) and shared bike providers has shown that there is sufficient interest in mixing bike use with public transit. Prague has reached an agreement for extending this service for the next four years with the existing providers Rekola and Nextbike.

“The pilot project between shared bike providers and Prague Integrated Transport has been running since October 2021, and during that time it has been used by over 23,000 people, who have made a total of 343,000 rentals. In the last three months alone, there were over 191,000 loans. The record day was June 23, when we recorded 3,239 loans,” Prague Deputy Mayor Adam Scheinherr, responsible for transport, said.

The city tendered a public contract for the system to be operated under the same conditions as it now works. Rekola and Nextbike, who provided service in the pilot stage, won the contract for the next four years.

“They have also pledged to gradually, in cooperation with individual city districts, ensure the availability of bikes at least 90 percent of metro stations,” Libor Šíma, head of Prague City Hall’s transport department, said.

Petr Tomčík, director of public transit organizer ROPID, said the combination of Prague's Lítáčka and shared bike services significantly improves the possibilities of moving around Prague.

“From the obtained data, it became clear that most often people rent bicycles in this way precisely at metro stations or tram stops. Cycling is such a great way to get home or to work from the public transport station or the train as quickly as possible,” Tomčík said.

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