In this week's issue

Last mile woes? Hire a bike

Dubai rolls out European style bike-sharing service in 10 locations

  • By Jay B. Hilotin, Chief Reporter
  • Published: 22:31 February 20, 2013
  • XPRESS

  • Image Credit: Abdel-Krim Kallouche/xpress
  • ECO-FRIENDLY transport: Bicycles parked at the Burj Khalifa Metro Station in Dubai

Dubai: A European-style bike-sharing system has come to Dubai, XPRESS has learnt.

The novel scheme has been rolled out by Nextbike, the German-based company which operates about 15,000 bikes across Europe.

Though no rates have been announced yet, over 100 bicycles have been seen stationed near two Metro stations — Burj Khalifa and Marina, besides neighbouring areas where tourists congregate.

Welcome move

Curious residents said they are excited to try it. “It’s great that we have this bike-sharing scheme in Dubai now, I can’t wait to get one of these bikes,” said Jagdish, an Indian IT specialist. In Germany, a one-hour bike rental costs €1 (around Dh5), while a 24-hour-rental costs €8.

Mohammad, an Arab construction engineer, said, “I use public transport a lot and I won’t mind using these bikes. But my decision would depend on the hourly rates. These bikes would cover the last mile from the Metro station.”

The German-designed bikes have already been rolled out in 10 locations in Dubai. Current locations include The Address Hotel, Souk Al Bahar, Burj Park, Burj Khalifa, Burj Khalifa Metro station, Marina Walk, Marina Mall, Marina Yacht Club, Marina Gulf Boat and Marina Dusit.

Nextbike is the largest international bike-sharing network. It is present in more than 30 German cities besides Austria, Latvia, Poland, Switzerland, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Cyprus and New Zealand.

Call and go

According to the company’s website, users must register on the site, which allows them to rent bikes at every location.

Payments can be done via credit card or direct debit on three payment networks (Visa, MasterCard and Amex).

Members can rent a Nextbike in cities where they are present via the hotline, app or customer card.

The rent and return of the bikes is possible by phone on 800 3330, online, via smartphone app or at one of the rental terminals.

How it works

Every bike station has a solar-powered console where customers can place their prepaid membership card.

1. Place customer card in front of the sensor or enter your phone number

2. Read the code, open the combination lock at the bike

3. Drag the bike from the rack and use

4. Return the bike to the rack until it is locked automatically (an acoustic signal indicates successful return; if there’s no signal user must confirm the return at the terminal)

5. Close the combination lock on the bike

Comments (0)

Your comments

XPRESS