Latest updates from the Polis working group on bike sharing

After last year's meeting hosted by the city of Paris in the magnificent City Hall building, this Spring we visited the Spanish capital Madrid where we held the 5th meeting of the Polis working group on bike sharing.

The meeting was attended by 15 participants who actively contributed to a 2-day discussion by presenting their bike share scheme and operations, making great proposals to advance bike share operations and exchanging ideas with their peers across Europe.

The following Polis members were present: Milan, BKK Centre for Budapest Transport, Gothenburg, Prague, Stuttgart Region, Brussels-Capital Region, Donostia-San Sebastian, Rotterdam, BikePlus (UK charity), city of Madrid, and EMT Madrid (bus transport company).

The workshop was opened by the host Sergio Fernández Balaguer, EMT Madrid, who introduced EMT Madrid's public bus company's operations and international strategy.

Donostia-San Sebastian, Northern Spain, presented their earlier bike sharing scheme, the current scheme dBizi which was developed in 2013 and expansion plans, followed by an overview of the city's cycling policy. Fermin Echarte Peña illustrated the new scheme of 16 stations and 220 e-bikes.

Budapest launched MOL Bubi in September 2014, covering a 25 km2 service area. The scheme has 112 docking stations, and 1286 bikes. Patrik Toth, BKK Centre for Budapest Transport, introduced "MOL Bubi PLAY", a new promotional and awareness raising App for Bubi bike-sharing users as a product developed in the frame of the European co-funded EMPOWER project. BKK has evaluated through a Living Lab what happens if they bring gamification elements to bike sharing.

Milan introduced BikeMI in 2008 in cooperation with ATM, the city public transport company: the scheme has 3.650 traditional bikes, 1.000 e-bikes, distributed across 283 stations. Michele Gianfelice illustrated the new and first ever charging centre with solar panels for BikeMI e-bikes which was recently opened on a brownfield in the city centre to supply energy to electrically assisted bikes and serve also as a workshop to wash bikes.

Later in the afternoon, EMT Madrid invited the group to take a shining "special service" brand new (and clean fuel) bus to a technical visit at the main city's BiciMAD deposit. BiciMAD is the largest e-bike sharing in Europe entirely formed of pedelecs (2.028 e-bikes and 165 stations).

On the second day, Antonia Roberts, Director BikePlus, led a 2-hour workshop on public procurement and dock-less bike share. Members looking forward to launching their bike sharing tender have found this piece of advice very helpful to inform their tendering process.

Last but not least, Stuttgart Region presented "RegioRadStuttgart", a bike and pedelec-sharing-system for about 80 communities around Stuttgart. Ralf Maier-Geißer, Stutgart Region, illustrated operation of the city bike sharignscehme of 400 bicycles, 100 pedelecs, and 45 stations, and the regional scheme comprising 130 pedelecs, at 14 stations (buildings) in 11 municipalities (soon 13), and future expansion plnas including the use of cargo-bikes.

Links to the presentations can be found on the event webpage (Polis member login required).

This working group will meet up again in the secodn half of 2017 to continue the fruitful know-how exchange among cities.

Join the working group on bike sharing schemes!

The working group on bike sharing is a service to Polis members .

For information and to join the Polis working group on bike sharing schemes, please contact Florinda Boschetti via e-mail at or by phone +32 (0)2 500 56 74.