Where and how to find bikes
In principle, bikesharing systems can be divided into two categories: station-based and free-floating. For station-based bikesharing, as is the case with Citybike Vienna or Nextbike, bicycles are rented at fixed stations and returned to either the same or another station in the service area. The advantage is that it ensures a certain order in the urban environment, since all bicycles are parked in a defined place. These locations are easy to find and thus give a certain security to always be able to rent bicycles at a certain place. In contrast, bikes can be rented and returned from free-floating bikesharing systems throughout the service area – the rental system does not require any public infrastructure. Users do not have to make their destination dependent on a nearby return station, instead they can lock their rental bike directly at their destination.
What to do when finding a bike
To borrow a bike it is necessary to register in advance at the terminal, in an app or on the website of the bikesharing provider. Using the search function, free bikes can be found, as well as return stations for station-based bike sharing that have free spaces. Immediately after activation, every user can rent a bicycle. The payment takes place digitally after the return and depends on the period of use. For example, some providers in cities such as Vienna, Lyon, Paris or Barcelona offer the first half hour free of charge. Afterwards there are graduated prices, whereby the longer the use, the higher the price. Most of the bikesharing models pursue the goal of offering as many residents as possible an additional service with their fleet for the everyday routes, which are usually no longer than five kilometres per route. For longer trips on the weekend, providers such as donkey republic or nextbike are ideal with a relatively low daily maximum price of around 14 euros.