> posted by   on August 29th 2013

New means of public transport

Every year, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s Better Life Index (OECD) ranks the world’s happiest economies on quality-of-life criteria. Among the first 10 happiest nations of the world are The Netherlands (8) and Denmark (7). Coincidentally or not, both countries are known as daily cycle user communities. Both countries are very small, which means that people daily commute using public transportation. There is no better transportation (in this climate) than a bicycle.

The city of Copenhagen recently replaced its 17-year old coin-operated Bycyklen bike-share system with the new and advanced GOBIKE!

GOBIKE is the newest version of the Urbikes system, from a company based in Barcelona, Spain. There are a few innovations scheduled for the Copenhagen system. The most intriguing is the utilisation of some of the research programmes from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology SENSEable City Laboratory programmes: CopenCycle and The Copenhagen Wheel. GOBIKE riders will have real-time information at their finger tips with a touch-screen computer between the handle bars as they navigate one of the world’s leading cycle-friendly cities. The on-board computer will plan your route with a map display. It can give real-time transport schedule information with ticketing integration. It can furnish information on activities in areas through which you are cycling. Real-time bike and docking station availability is displayed as well. To make it easy to find and take a bike, a smart phone app will locate the nearest bike and allow you to reserve it. Whether or not the app will reserve an empty slot to return the bike is yet to be seen! This system will really be the beginning of 4th generation bike-sharing.

The city will install 2,000 GOBIKES at bike-share stations near public transport hubs to achieve seamless transfers from train, tram, and bus. The bikes have a shaft drive instead of a chain system and puncture-proof solid tires to reduce maintenance needs. The system is scheduled to stay open all year round.


In the Netherlands, one of the finalists of the annual Dutch Design Awards 2013 is a new innovative public Bike-Sharing system – Calllock in cooperation with Scoof. The new Dutch system adds new value to the already existing services in the area of rent-bicycles. Each bicycle works with an individual payment system via smartphone, which makes this product easier to use and more efficient than current systems. With a solid frame, front cargo rack and clever and easy-to-use lock system, the design of the bicycles matches the requirements of the  city users.

The winners of the Dutch Design Awards 2013 will be announced on October 19, during the annual Dutch Design Week city event.



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