Free Cargo Bike Sharing

Taking your old washing machine to the recycling center? No problem (Image credits: kollektiv.unproduktiv)

Supplying the cities with goods and at the same time reducing the mass of cars in the inner cities is a problem that can only be solved by means of alternative transport infrastructure. Cargo bikes are suitable for many applications and can easily replace cars for most small to medium sized transports. However, cargo bikes are not affordable for everyone and not ever household has the possibility to store a cargo bike. For residents in rented apartments, for example, who live on a higher floor and do not have sufficient, secure or covered parking space on the first floor, the purchase of a cargo bike will not be worthwhile in most cases.

This underscores the need for a simple and uncomplicated cargo bike sharing infrastructure. How that can be done is shown by the projects “Wela” (“Weimar cargo bike”) in Weimar and “Ella”(short for “Erfurt’s long-awaited cargo bike”), which are real prime examples: Both initiatives are completely free for users and allow them to rent one of several cargo bikes available in the city for a few hours or a whole day. The rental process is as simple as can be. You sign up, select the time slot(s) of your choice in a calendar overview and confirm the reservation. You then go to the pickup location with the reservation number and receive the key for the bike lock and battery. And that’s it, you are ready to go.

A cargo bike ready to be picked up at a book store in Weimar

The cargo bikes are ready for pickup at various stores in the city (e.g., bookstores, food stores, etc.), where the bikes are also parked at night. In Weimar, with its population of about 60,000 people, there are four available bikes, and in Erfurt, with a population just over 200,000 people, there are a total of seven cargo bikes.

Of course, the bikes sometimes have a flat tire and need to be serviced. This is done by volunteers who work in the background to keep the cargo bike sharing alive.

If you are interested, you are welcome to take a look at the websites of Wela and Ella, both of which were created by the company Zebresel and are constantly being improved.

  • Post category:Mobility