Free shared bikes are now a permanent part of Prague's public transport

A pilot project offering holders of a Prague public transport pass access to free 15-minute rides through bikesharing apps has been a success.

Jason Pirodsky

Written by Jason Pirodsky Published on 16.01.2022 15:23:00 (updated on 16.01.2022) Reading time: 3 minutes

A pilot project offering holders of a Prague public transport pass free access to short-term bike rides has been successful and will become a permanent offering from the city, Prague Integrated Transport has announced this weekend.

Through the program, holders of Prague's Lítačka public transport pass also have access to use shared bicycles from the Rekola and Nextbike companies for time intervals of up to 15-minute time periods, up to four times a day, free of charge.

The program was designed to incorporate bicycles into Prague's public transport system, for those whose bus or tram stop may be a bit too far from their destination. It was launched in October for a three-month trial run.

According to Prague Integrated Transport, that trial run has been a success: despite the cold winter months, 7,200 passengers have taken advantage of bikesharing through the Lítačka program over the past three months, for a total of around 72,000 individual bike rides. About thirty new users register every day.

Given the success of the project, the city has given a green light to Prague Integrated Transport and the Rekola and Nextbike operators to make bikesharing a permanent feature of Prague's public transport offer.

"A quarter of a year into the pilot project, despite the winter period, shows that the combination of shared bicycles and public transport makes sense, and brings additional benefits to people using public transport in the form of easier and at the same time healthy movement around Prague," Prague Councilor for Transport Adam Scheinherr stated in a press release.

"That is why we have decided to permanently bring shared bicycles into Prague Integrated Transport system. We want to continue to make it easier for people to 'make the first and last mile' of their journey through Prague and make long-term public transport coupons even more attractive." 

According to Scheinherr, bicycle stands for the shared bikes will be added to Prague metro and tram stations throughout this year.

According to stats provided by Prague Integrated Transport, the bikesharing offer appears to be most often used as intended, i.e. to supplement public transport routes for passengers who need to travel a little bit more.

The most popular times Lítačka holders make use of bikesharing are around rush hours before and after work, at around 7:00 a.m. and between 2:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. The average duration of a shared bike ride through the Lítačka program is just five minutes long.

Public transport hubs are the most popular locations to pick up a shared bike, especially in the Holešovice, Letná, Dejvice, Karlín and Old Town areas of Prague. The Czech capital's embankments make for a popular area to ride.

“The connection of shared bicycles with a public transport pass works in many foreign cities, so I see no reason why we cannot offer this Lítačka bonus to Praguers too,” said Prague Mayor Zdeněk Hřib when introducing the project last autumn.

"Bicycles are a useful addition to the city’s transport system, especially for medium- and short-distance journeys."

Hřib was recently named among the top five mayors in Europe for 2021, and the bikesharing program was specifically cited among his accomplishments.

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To rent a bicycle in Prague through the free program, you just need to link your Lítačka account ID within the Rekola or Nextbike app. More information about the project can be found at the website of Prague Integrated Transport.

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