BICIKELJ is a public service offered by the city of Ljubljana and operated under concession by Europlakat to provide access to self-service hire bicycles. The service consists of a network of stations, each composed of a central terminal and attachment stands for bikes and the bikes themselves. In order to access the service, the user must be in possession of a 7-Day Ticket and/or an annual subscription. It aims to promote more sustainable mobility in the city of Ljubljana.
BICIKELJ is a public service offered by the city of Ljubljana and operated under concession by Europlakat to provide access to self-service hire bicycles. The word »bicikel« in Slovene languange is a colloquial expression for a bicycle and LJ is short for Ljubljana, therefore this expression innovatively marks the idea of bicyle sharing service in the city of Ljubljana.
The service was introduced in May 2011 and consists of a network of stations, each composed of a central terminal and attachment stands for bicycles and the bicycles themselves. In order to access the service, the user must be in possession of a 7-Day Ticket and/or an annual subscription.
A 7-Day Ticket is valid for a maximum of 7 days, running from the moment the operation is accepted by the credit card holder’s bank. In order to access the BICIKELJ service, the user needs a valid registration. The annual subscription is valid for the period of one year. Renewal is possible
with new subscription. In order to access the BICIKELJ service, the customer needs a valid registration and an URBANA CARD.
During the validity period, the customer may only use the service for a maximum of 24 consecutive hours (“the maximum authorised continuous period of use”). Subject to the number of bicycles available at each station, the service is accessible twelve months a year, seven days a week, without interruption, except in the event of force majeure or any restriction imposed by the legitimate authorities on the use of one or more stations or on bicycle traffic in the Ljubljana-Capital Region.
Rate for an annual subscription card is 3,00 € and rate for a 7-Day ticket is 1,00 €. The fee for the annual subscription will be credited in this amount for chargeable rides to the customer’s account. Hourly Rate for use of the Service (chargeable rides) are:
- first 60 minutes: 0,00 €
- next 60 minutes: 1,00 €
- third 60 minutes: 2,00 €
- any further 60 minutes: 4,00 €
The system consists of the 30 stations approximately 300 to 500 metres apart, the stations are easy to get to and ideal for short trips. The service has been widely accepted by locals and foreigners, six months after the introduction of the service the Bicikelj had already more than 25,000 subscribers.
Barriers and Drivers
The main barrier due to a large number of subscribers and extensive use has become the number of bikes and bike stands that are only located along the major roads to the city centre. Due to the daily migration pattern there are bicyles lacking in the morning in the outer parts of the city and vice versa in the afternoon.
The main drive is the fact that bicycles are ideal for short trips in Ljubljana. Bicikelj enables cost effective and fast transportation avoiding busy roads and sometimes crowded public buses during the peak hours. It also eliminates the possibility that your bicycle is being stolen and enables the use of technically adequate bicycles, that has become an issue of stricter police monitoring in recent years.
Bicikelj introduces the system of bicycle sharing and has no direct economic impacts. Due to positive impact of decreasing the number of cars in the city centre and lower traffic emissions it indirectly reduces the costs of dealing with traffic emissions.
Bicikelj has been widely accepted and being used by the citizens of Ljubljana, daily commuters and tourists as well. In November 2011 the number of subscribers exceeded 25,000 (for a comparison the number of inhabitants of municipality of Ljubljana is 280,000).
Bicikelj has succeeded to lower the number of cars in the city centre, therefore contributed to the reduction of traffic emissions. It also helps to decrease the intensity of the traffic in the city of Ljubljana. Most importantly, it is an important step towards changing people attitudes and mobility habits that along with other initiatives (e.g. P&R) helps to raise awareness about traffic and emissions problems and adopt a more sustainable lifestyle.
Bicike(lj) webpage, http://en.bicikelj.si/
General conditions of access & use of the citybike Bicikelj, http://en.bicikelj.si/content/download/27861/145971/version/1/file/GENERAL+CONDITIONS+OF+ACCESS.pdf