New bikes and terminals

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New bikes and terminals. Fot. R. Motyl
New bikes and terminals. Fot. R. Motyl

Nextbike Polska will be handling the running of the Veturilo system for the next four years. An agreement was signed on Thursday, 25th August. The new bikes and terminals will be in operation from 1st March 2017.

I am pleased that we will be cooperating for another four years with our reliable partner – Nextbike Polska. Veturilo faces serious changes next year. There will be a hundred new rental stations, including ten with electric bikes; there will be 1500 more bikes on the streets. It is worth mentioning that those will be brand new bikes and terminals,” said Jacek Wojciechowicz, Deputy Mayor of Warsaw.

At present more than 410 thousand people use city bikes, and a bicycle is rented about every ten second. During the last four years the bicycles have been rented nearly 8 million times. Two-thirds of Varsovians think highly of Veturilo. The system has been operating since 2012 - the present agreement with the operator expires at the end of 2016.

- In terms of technological development, light years have passed since the start of the operation of the Veturilo system. Warsaw City Bike was a flagship project and an example to follow for Polish and international systems: it has been checked out by officials from Barcelona, Budapest and Madrid, to name a few. We have gained the vital experience in recent years, which has proved to be invaluable in the context of managing such an advanced project. Next year will mark a true technological leap in Warsaw. The new Veturilo will join the biggest and most advanced bike rental services of Europe - added Tomasz Wojtkiewicz, the chairman of Nextbike Polska, Veturilo’s operator.

A hundred new stations
The new agreement will be valid from 2017 to 2020. The users are awaiting the changes. The number of stations will increase to 300 and the bikes to 4455.
New rentals will be mostly located in the districts of Śródmieście, Praga and Wola. Stations will be located at intervals of approx. 200 m. More stations will also be opened in the districts of Mokotów, Praga-Południe and Targówek; they will be located at intervals of approx. 500 m. Some new stations will also be allocated to the districts further away from the city centre, such as Białołęka, Bielany and Bemowo.
There is the possibility for the further development of the system and adding more stations, within available measures of course (which include district budgets).

New app and electric bikes
Electric bikes will be a true novelty. There will be ten new electric bike stations in the area of Powiśle and Trakt Królewski. A network of bike stations for kids will also be developed – six new special stations enabling renting a smaller bike for children will be situated near parks. The number of available tandem bikes will increase to 45.
The bikes will be additionally equipped with hand brakes, higher and more comfortable handlebars designed to fit tall users better, rotary bells that can be installed on the handlebars, front pannier racks and wide saddles. The bicycles will have scaled saddle seat posts for a more precise adjusting to the user’s height. Bikes will be labelled with QR codes to allow fast renting without using the terminal.

The new system will be more convenient for users. Terminals will be equipped with modern colour displays with touch screens, and allow contactless payments. They will also have universal bike pumps. A mobile app allowing renting and returning bikes will be introduced. Each bike rack will be equipped with a diode signalling whether the given bike is in good repair and can be rented.
Varsovians will be able to use the new bikes and stations from 1st March 2017. The gross cost of the system operation in the years 2017-2020 will be PLN 44.8 million.