Design Responses > About Bike Hire Schemes >
Second Generation - Go in operated public bikes
A scheme pioneered in Copenhagen in 1995 (Bycyklen), originally designed by Wilhelm and Niels Christiansen, and subsequently introduced to various other cities, introduced a coin operated ‘manual’ / ‘second generation’ system, using custom-built bikes locked to specific on-street stands. The bikes were ‘heavier duty’ bikes, with non-standard components to help reduce parts theft and they could be unchained from the stands in exchange for a minimal fee, currently 20 kroner, and then returned to any other stand around the city. Importantly this scheme mobilised many city users onto bikes (including the thieves!) and inspired other schemes around the world. In response to this system, urban transport consultant, Paul Demaio claims that its shows that how such programmes help reduce thefts of personal cycles in cities:
City Bikes reduce bicycle theft. In the five years that the Copenhagen City Bike program has been around, Copenhagen has experienced a 30% drop in bicycle thefts according to the Danish Statistics and Insurance Information Organization. This has occurred because the City Bikes provide the same service that a stolen bike would provide. (DeMaio, 2000)
The Copenhagen and similar schemes presented a simple service that is relatively low cost to install, to rent bikes and even to replace them. Nonetheless, these initiatives have suffered continued problems of broken bikes and cycle theft of the city bikes, mainly because they still offer no way of tracking the bikes or the users.