Government backed Street Cycling.
Starting August 1st Warsaw has the first phase of a city wide initiative. Bicycles are staged in Warsaw areas and the general public can hire these bicycles from minutes to hours and return them at any of the bicycle points.
The first 20 minutes are free. 3 hours costs about 1.5 GBP or 2.5 CHF
Let's step back some years and understand how we have reached this point
- Whilst road speed have become higher in the town (>100Km/h is typical) so too has road quality.
With fewer potholes, falling to ones death is less probable, you now just have to content with insane vehicle speeds.
- Cycle paths are now introduced. In Ursynow they are widespread and lie parallel to dual carriageway roads.
So you can cycle on these in 100% safety, venturing out to the regular roads and cars only when absolutely necessary
How Does it Work
Yes, I do believe there is quite a selection to choose from
You will have previously registered on the Web with your credit card and you get an access code. Use this access code and the bicycle number to get your combination lock code.
Walk to bicycle, unlock the combination lock with the code you just learnt and start cycling.
Return to any station, lock bike, and tell station you checked it in.
The instructions are also in English. Man, they are good.
Agata is ready
Zoom in on this high res picture. Adjustable quick release seat, heavy construction, dynamo powered lights, 3 speed shimano, chain guard, front basket, combination lock, stand.
The Honesty Factor
There are multiple ways to game the system. So the government is relying on honesty!
- When you put a bike back you lock it to a checkin station and twiddle the combination lock. At the kiosk you then say you returned it. But there is nothing to stop you just saying you checked it in!
- The combination locks are wire tagged to the bicycle. So you can cut the wiretags and liberate the bicycle from the lock!
Overall the government is betting that you will not want to steal such a heavy and clearly government owned cycle. It is early days yet, but I do hope they are right.
This is a real chance to
- Enable Warsaw residents to cycle their way into better health
- Reduce CO2 emissions
- Reduce congestion on roads
- Take the pace of life down a peg or two