This spring Sofia will launch a public bike rental scheme.
Four hundred bicycles at 33 different locations in the city will be available for residents and visitors of the Bulgarian capital, announced Deputy Mayor of Transport Evgeni Krusev. The rental options will include a 30-minute free rental, and hourly rental of up to 1.60 lv. per hour (to equal the public transport ticket price).
Full day cards for 6 rides, weekly bicycle rental, and monthly membership cards will be also available.
The bike docking stations will be concentrated in the central areas of Sofia; will be available 24/7 with a pre-paid card, or through the “Nextbike” mobile application after scanning the QR code on the wheel to unlock the bicycle.
The app will also provide information on the nearest docking stations.
The bike stations can be relocated in case of city events, traffic congestion or reconstruction works.
In addition, each station will be a Wi-Fi network hub. If all bunks are the user will be able to leave the bike near the station and the app will automatically end the rental period.
The public rent-a-bike system is part of Sofia Municipality’s efforts to introduce clean and energy-efficient sustainable mobility options in the city.
Over 20 countries in Europe use bicycle-sharing. Worldwide public bike sharing systems are available in 50+ countries on five continents, including 712 cities, operating approximately 806 200 bicycles at 37 500 stations.
The pioneering city for bike-sharing was, not surprisingly, Amsterdam. In 1967 the group Provo painted 50 bicycles in white and left them in downtown Amsterdam to be used for free.
Among the best European cities for cyclists today are Copenhagen (about half of Copenhagen’s residents use bikes on daily basis), Eindhoven, Strasbourg, London, Nantes, Antwerp, Barcelona, Berlin.