2018 Anniversary Year: Citybike Wien celebrates its 15th anniversary
Montag, 05. Februar 2018:
The first Citybike stations were put into operation in Vienna 15 years ago; today around 1,500 of the popular free loan bikes are available to Vienna folk at 121 stations, 12 months of the year without restrictions. Since then, Citybikes have made a significant contribution to establishing bicycles as an environmentally friendly and gratis method of transport in the Austrian capital. The success of the system can be most clearly seen in annually increasing user numbers and kilometres travelled. Gewista, the outdoor advertising company, developed the free station-based bike-sharing system 15 years ago. The Citybike system is a top export and has been exported from Vienna to 60 major world cities to date, from Paris to Brisbane.
“It is particularly gratifying for Gewista as operator of the free bike system” says Gewista CEO Franz Solta, “to see how sustainably successful the development of our Public Value Project, Citybike Wien, has been in the last 15 years. Last year’s numbers show that the popularity of Citybike Wien has continuously increased thanks to ongoing innovations. At this point we would like to thank our long-term partners and supporters, above all the City of Vienna, Raiffeisen Landesbank Vienna/Lower Austria and Vöslauer, who have substantially contributed to the success of Citybike Wien. Looking to the future of Citybike Wien, it is important for us to address the needs of the growing Sharing Community and to further develop our offering of sustainable mobility as part of the City of Vienna’s Smart City Strategy."
Hans-Erich Dechant, Head of Citybike Wien, heavily involved in the development since the start of Citybike Wien, also looks back delightedly on the successful course of the project to date: “What began at the beginning of the millennium as a ‘good idea’, we were able to realise and today it is part and parcel of public life in all the major cities of the world and so they’ve become indispensable. It fills me with pride not only that were we able to do pioneering work with Citybike, but that also today we can still be a driving force behind the further development of sustainable bike sharing. We have continuously developed and optimised the system in the last 15 years."
Dechant continued “The huge amount of positive feedback and useful suggestions we receive from Citybike Wien users are a stimulus for us to continue to work on our range of services to develop our service further in the direction of increased user-friendliness. At this point I would like to thank the large Citybike Wien community who have filled the project with life for the last 15 years and the dedicated team members of Citybike Wien who keep the system running.”
The Citybike Wien Timeline - a success story and pioneering achievement:
2003: Start of Citybike Wien in May with trial operation. Handover to the public in June. From the beginning, Citybike Wien can be used with Austrian ATMs. Raffeisen, our faithful companion, is on-hand among the first sponsors with their yellow wheels.
2004: The Citybike Card is introduced to increase access possibilities to Citybike Wien. The Citybike Tourist Card is offered in cooperation with Royal Tours from this year for visitors to Vienna.
2005: All bikes received a new, fully automatic lighting system which simplifies use for Citybikers. Operation of the Citybike Wien stations is now possible in English. Borrowing via ONE mobile phones is offered as an additional access option.
2006: Now Citybike Wien can be used with credit cards (Visa, Mastercard and JCB credit card). Citybike terminals expand the languages on offer by Italian and French. Station function is expanded by means of an online-plan, on which the current availability of bikes and free boxes at all stations is visible. Borrowing using ONE mobile phones is discontinued.
2007: From this year, the Citybike Wien community is annually canvassed for their opinion about Citybike and their wishes via an online survey. This participation process shapes the future development of Citybike Wien. For the first time this winter there was no winter break, the bikes have been available every day from the end of February 2007 until today!
2008: Linking UEFA venues to the Citybike Wien network with 4 newly-built stations as well as offering a Citybike Wien specially designed “bike locker” on UEFA match days. “cbw.at“, an information portal for web-enabled mobile phones, is implemented. Expansion to 60 stations is agreed.
2009: Following suggestions from the Citybike Wien community, completely reworked 3 speed Citybikes were introduced. Since then, sturdier baskets, improved tyres, modern LED lights with parking light and a contemporary, sleek design have improved the convenience and the experience of cycling the bikes in the city.
2010: In response to the 2009 online survey, a new improved station map is created. The station network is expanded to the west of the Belt. We were able to gain Vöslauer as a new sponsor. Our open data interface is implemented and at the same time the first Apps from the Citybike community were offered to all city bikers.
2012: Expansion of the Citybike stations forges ahead. So that, in October the 100th Citybike station is opened by Vice Mayor Maria Vassilakou at the main station.
2013: Citybike celebrates its tenth birthday! As part of VeloCity Wien, 10 years of Citybike Wien is celebrated at the Rathausplatz in Vienna. The competition “Show us your Bike Legs” is held on social media for the Citybike Wien community, the winner gets a voucher for a trip to Amsterdam.
2014: We’ve reached the half million! In September Vice Mayor Maria Vassilakou ceremonially awards an ebike to the 500,000th Citybiker.
2015: Expansion to 120 stations as contractually specified with the City of Vienna is agreed. The WienMobil Card is created together with Wiener Stadtwerke [Vienna public utilities] as an additional access option for Citybike Wien. For the first time, more than 1 million journeys in a year.
2016: Our new responsive website makes registration by Smartphone possible with immediate effect. In this year, the last bikes without gears were decommissioned. As part of the Citybike Uphill Challenge, uphill cycling is rewarded for one month. Again, there were more than 1 million journeys in a year.
2017: With the experience gained from the previous year’s Challenge, the Citybike Uphill Team began as a permanent platform: Citybikers who contribute to improving the distribution of the bikes and cycle them uphill receive vouchers and prizes and take part in draws. For the third time in a row, there were more than 1 million Citybike trips in a year!