STA, 13 May 2021 - When the bicycle renting system Bicikelj was set up in Ljubljana on 12 May 2011, there were 30 stations and 300 bicycles. Today, the system boasts 73 stations with 730 bicycles, while the plan is to expand it to over 80 stations and 800 bicycles by the end of the year, the municipality has announced.
On the first day, the municipality recorded 787 rentals, and to this day, 217,000 users have made eight million rentals, almost all of which shorter than one hour and therefore free of additional charge. The highest number of rentals in a day, 6,387, was recorded on 22 October 2019.
Although the pandemic lowered the number of rentals compared to recent years, the number of active users continues to rise, now standing at an all time high with 52,500 users or 17% of Ljubljana's population.
"The municipality is aware of health and environmental benefits of cycling, so it constantly upgrades the cycling infrastructure," Mayor Zoran Janković said on Wednesday.
Numerous sustainable mobility awards prove this, alongside the fact that since 2015, Ljubljana has been among the top 20 cycling-friendly cities in the world three times in a row according to the Copenhagenize Index.
These achievements will be presented at the Velo-City 2022, a world cycling planning conference Ljubljana will host from 14 to 17 June next year.
Bicikelj is operated by the billboard operator Europlakat through a public-private partnership. Europlakat is part of the JCDecaux group, which is the reason why one of its executive directors, Jean-Francois Decaux, visited Ljubljana on the occasion.
"Ten years ago, Ljubljana was the first city in Central Europe to introduce a bicycle renting system for its citizens and tourists through a public-private partnership. I'm very proud that Bicikelj has become one of the most successful systems in the world, with each bike being rented an average eight times a day," he said.
Over the years, Bicikelj's software has been updated. The mobile app BicikeLJ Official allows users to check the availability of bicycles and free spaces at each station. Rental is possible with the app or with the Urbana city card.
Learn more about how to rent a bicycle in Ljubljana