Bike Rental in Germany

By Mike Maddaloni on Saturday, October 06, 2007 at 04:00 AM with 2 comments

photo of DB Call A BikeChicagoans were excited to hear that on a recent visit to France its mayor Richard Daley was going to check out bicycle rental, namely the Velib service for on-demand bike rental. This system relies on renting bikes from and returning them to a “service point.” On a recent visit to Germany, I saw examples of bike rental where the bikes stand alone.

In Berlin it was not uncommon to see red and silver bikes with a “DB” logo, part of the Call A Bike service. The service is summarized on this English-language page on their Web site, and it is a straightforward service where you establish an account, and when you want a bike you call a phone number, enter the code on the bike, then enter an access code on the bike and you’re on your way. This picture was taken at the Potsdamer Platz train station with several bikes available. Many times I saw just one bike, all alone, waiting to be rented. The bikes have a unique design and even a carrier with a cable for carrying packages. Click on the photo for a larger view.

I also found DB bikes around Frankfurt, as well as bikes from another vendor available for rental in a similar manner. By being able to rent and leave them wherever your destination is, the service is extremely convenient. When you are done with the bike, you lock it to a sign post and call in the location and it is picked up.

By the way, DB stands for Deutsche Bahn, the German national railroad. Now that is an integrated transportation system!

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