Graz gets a city bike rental scheme

The city of Graz is planning to invest 350,000 Euros in creating a city wide rental bike system.

The rental system will be based around a booking platform known as “Graz Bikes” that will be aimed at tourists and locals keen to try out the cycling possibilities in the region.

The council agreed funding of 350,000 Euros for the project to keep it going over a three-year period.

It follows on from the project in the 1980s when bike rental was eventually handed to individual bike stores but for a citywide service such as “Citybike” which exists in the capital Vienna there is a shortage of cheap enough providers and also limited potential since the bike friendly city has a large number of people who are already cyclists.

The reservation portal will be the first step. The new project also plans to have sponsorship own branding, additional special offers and better access to bikes via the booking platform to increase number of the cycling public.

Green councillor Lisa Rücker says the move is the first step towards building an alternative network to public transport or car sharing schemes.

In the initial phase eight rental stores would take part which the council hopes will eventually be increased to 20.

As well as electric bikes there will also be bikes with small trailers or carriers for children on offer.

The hope is that after the initial three-year investment, the system will be capable of running on its own.

It was forced through by a partnership between the Conservatives and the Greens – the social Democrats and the Communists had objected to it.