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September 25, 2021

First automated bike-sharing stations launched in Bucharest

The first automated bike-sharing stations dubbed I’Velo Urban were presented on Tuesday in University Square by the Green Revolution Association, in the presence of General Mayor Gabriela Firea.

The novelty of this renting concept is the self-service and the free use of the bicycle for 30 minutes for rapid transit in the central area of the city.

“I wholeheartedly – both personally and institutionally – support this type of project, which teaches us to be ecological, to be sporty, to take care of our city. (…) I want to say that in the last session of the General Council a majority approved 19 projects. One of these extremely important projects refers to the creation of 42 bike circuits all around the Capital. In the coming period there will be bidding following the feasibility studies so, soon, this pilot project, which is now in its debut, thanks to Green Revolution, will become a reality, and the Capital will be crossed by many bicycle circuits,” said mayor Firea.

She mentioned that the intention is for the public transport and the bike transport to urge people to leave their cars at home for a few days.

“This is the future, and I am glad to be part of this future together with the passionate organizers here today,” Firea added.

She received, from the organizers, the first card with which bikes can be rented in the six I’Velo bike-sharing stations.

These cards can be gained with an ID card from one of the I’Velo centers in Tineretului or Herastrau Parks. Later on, one can choose a daily, monthly or yearly pass – and the card is introduced in the dedicated reader of the renting station to unlock a bike.

The reader also releases a receipt containing information – the name of the user, the departure station and the hour. If the bike is returned within 30 minutes at any station, its use is free. If the 30 minute mark is surpassed, there is a tariff, which can be paid both online, or at one of the I’Velo centers.

“At this moment we have six stations with 120 bikes, it is a pilot-project, it’s a test, we are trying to see how people are reacting to this project, we are trying to figure out what the problems are, we are expecting technical difficulties to also appear, or software issues, we expect to find users that maybe break the bikes. It is for this reason that we started it in the autumn, to see throughout winter how the system works, so that in March, when the true bike season starts, we are ready,” said, on Tuesday, the Program Director of the Green Revolution Association, Corneliu Belciug.

He showed that, if the project goes well, the number of stations will be increased, which will happen as the bike infrastructure of Bucharest grows.

The six stations are in University Square, Revolution Square, Roman Square, Victory Square, Charles de Gaulle Square and Kaufland Barbu Vacarescu.

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