Challenge / Goal
With a share of 7% of the distances travelled by all citizens of Vienna by bicycle, Vienna has a rather low share of cycling traffic compared to other European cities. With regard to the mobility behaviour of the residents, the share in favour of the environmental network should be postponed. This includes the bicycle, which can be part of a more sustainable overall transport system. Goals are to reduce the share of the Motorized Individual Traffic (MIT) of all trajectories to 20% by 2015 and 15% in the long term. One of these measures is the introduction of a fully automatic year-round pedelec rental system in the project area Smarter Together. In Vienna since 2002 there are public bicycle rental systems with the support of the city. After trying out models, Citybike Vienna has been running successfully for several years. A total of 120 stations with over 3,000 bike boxes are available. However, only in the inner-city area, and without electric drive.
In the outskirts such as Simmering, individual decentralized (e-) bike rental systems are now available. There is a need and potential to develop new models to drive sustainable mobility without the need for private car ownership. For Smarter Together, the challenge is to develop a model in an existing city district.
A first E-Bike terminal was opened in April 2018 at the central cemetery of Vienna by Sycube. The cemetery proved an excellent partner, interested in offering a modern mobility service to its many visitors to navigate the expansive site. A second terminal is at the mobility point. 12 E-Bikes and a Cargo-Bike are in operation. The E-Bikes are available via the SIMBike App or through a chip card offered at the spot. Sycube developed the whole system including a new locking system for the E-Bikes.
The bike-sharing service will be technically based on a station-bound charging bar (Bikeholder) with a physical rental terminal (Terminal Light) and two different types of e-bikes (BESV CF1 and I: Sy) were specially converted for a Sycube bike-sharing system. As a new technical development, a control board for the Axa Wired Lock was developed which is attached to the frame tube in a separate component. This control board offers the customer the advantage that he can safely close the vehicle in the event of a break (stopover) or deliver the vehicle in the vicinity of a filled station (Fence).
The bike holder is on the one hand the mechanical housing for mounting and holding the charging point (or the locking system) and protects on the other hand against the physical stress caused by forces that occur when setting and removing the vehicles.
For easy return, Sycube uses an insertion aid (plastic ring). This can be done in different RAL colors. In order to be able to uniquely assign the parking spaces or the locking systems, the parking spaces are numbered. The numbers are printed on self-adhesive label tags. The designated area on the plastic ring is slightly sunk. As soon as a docking unit of the bicycle is in the locking system, this is closed and can only be opened by the authorized user or service personnel. Opening can only be carried out if there is tension. The service personnel can unlock the locking mechanism mechanically by opening the maintenance flaps in the longitudinal beam also in an emergency, so that a removal of the bike is possible. The maintenance flaps are protected by appropriate locks. Each bikeholder is equipped with control electronics.
Generally, the lock is resistant to vandalism so at least 10,000 N at the charging point are sustainable. The lock will reliably open at a tensile load of 300N. The offset of the vehicles from the centre axis of the charging point is a relevant measure, since in practice the vehicles are not always in flight despite guidance in the base plate. The lock can reliably open at an offset of 5 ° from the central axis. A removal of the bike is only possible if a borrowing with service, - or customer card or APP is made. It is thus not possible for unauthorized persons to remove a bike without permission.
The borrowing by the customer can be done via APP or customer card. After a single entry of the user data (email, address, PIN), the customer will be released for the APP borrowing. In the APP, the station status (number of bicycles) is displayed visually and textually. The customer selects an available vehicle, confirms the borrowing request by entering PIN and starts the journey. The aim of this integration is to offer SIMBIKE as a product in the APP to the registered users as well as to display the availabilities and prices. If the user decides to leave SIMBIKE for the Wien Mobil APP, it will be transferred to the Sycube APP. User data of the customer are transferred and only need to be supplemented with the payment data. This allows a significant reduction of the booking process and consequently higher conversion rates.
The development of the control board for the frame lock offers further interesting possibilities to extend the functional spectrum of a bike sharing station. These are fence stations or virtual rental stations. A virtual rental station consists structurally of an electroless stele into which a BLE (Bluetooth low energy) Beacon is integrated. This beacon provides a "BLE bell" within about 20 meters of the station. The station is powered by a CR17345 battery with a life of about 2 years. As a grading element a mark is placed on the ground within which the customer should turn off the wheel. A parking off the mark is possible as long as the vehicle is inside the BLE bell. In addition, the attachment of bicycle ironing is recommended as another organizing element.
The operational business of SIMBIKE started on May 2nd, 2018; within the first 4 weeks, around 700 rides were carried out; 100 people have the app installed. It can be assumed that the introduction of the IoS App will allow more people to be won over to SIMBIKE.
Want to learn more about the lessons learned, financial details and results?
Implementation Time: 1 - 2 years
SycubeSycube, the city of Vienna
SycubeSycube, AXA, DOCON GmbH, TAG Consulting LAB GmbH