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Thursday, February 6, 2014

Bike Sharing System in Greek Municipalities

Bike-Sharing Systems are electronic, automated systems that offer short-term bike rental. The bikes are provided from special automated stations which are located in various public spots and are operating with an electronic sharing system. The citizens, after filling out an application, receive a user code which they use to unlock the bike from the automated stations. Then, they can use the bike and when they are done, simply return it to the nearest special station. Some municipalities in Greece have already launched a bike sharing system in order to improve the daily life of the citizens and protect the environment. The bike sharing system has been provided by Cyclopolis Ltd. According to Harris Siakantaris, Business Development Manager of the company, “We have already supplied nine municipalities with public bikes and there are also 19 pending applications. Many municipalities are willing to provide this service to their residents but the lack of resources had postponed the plan.” “The first pilot bike sharing system was launched in 2009 on the island of Corfu which was never actually used and in 2011 on an island located in the Pamvotida lake at Ioannina. The official implementation of the program started in 2012 when the Green Fund from the Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change approved the Bike Sharing System among other pro-environmental actions,” he added. The bike sharing program has until now been implemented to the Municipalities of Acharnes, Moschato, Amaroussion, Nafplio and Marathon. According to city council members, the program has been quite successful and the residents are using the bikes on a daily basis. “The bike market in Greece has significantly increased over the last decade. We see much more bikes on the roads nowadays compared to 5 or 10 years ago. More than 350 cities worldwide have been offering public bikes to their citizens. It’s high time Greece joined them,” Siakantaris concluded.