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Bicycle rental stations to be launched in 18 municipalities

03 February 2013 / 14:02:33  GRReporter
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As part of the Ministry of Environment's programme "Revitalisation of urban areas 2012-2015", a system for bicycle rental will be launched as an alternative means of transportation in addition to public transport, in order to preserve the environment and create a new pattern of life. Five municipalities of Athens and 13 from the provinces will implement this system which offers the possibility of short-term bicycle rental. Today, more than 350 cities around the world have such systems. A similar model is already in operation at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, where students and teachers can use bicycles to move around. It should be noted that people are responding very well to this idea. In Thessaloniki, more than 1,000 students are enrolled in the system, and there are a lot of enthusiastic people in Athens as well.

Where the bikes can be found

Posts for bike rental will be located in the municipalities of Maroussi, Moschato-Tavros, Keratsini-Drapetsona, Nea Smyrni and Marathonas. There will be posts in the municipalities of Aegiali, Aktios-Vonitsa, East Mani, Ancient Olympia, Didymoteicho, Dion-Olympos, Zakynthos, Kavala, Karditsa, Komotini, Nafpaktos, Nafplio and Sicyon, too.

In Maroussi, there will be 6 points with 70 bikes. Residents of Moschato-Tavros will be able to use 60 bikes; there will be 6 points with 70 bikes in Keratsini-Drapetsona, 4 points with 50 bikes in Marathonas and 3 points with a total of 40 bicycles in Nea Smyrni.

When and how the system will work

Those who want to rent a bike, can do so via an electronic rental system. The user must show his or her identity card before receiving the bicycle. Usually, an application for enrolment should be submitted to the municipalities' local stations, then, using a magnetic card, bicycles can be used and returned to any point in the municipality.

The method of payment and the time of rental will be determined by the municipalities themselves; there will be daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual subscriptions. The procedure should be passed in municipal councils in order to determine how the system will operate, but, because of bureaucracy, the programme will be delayed until final details are specified, Marika Nioti from the municipality of Keratsini-Drapetsona explained. Users will be able to move either only by bicycle, or in combination - by bicycle and public transport. Therefore, the points are located near stations or bus stops.

Initially, the system will start working on a pilot basis in most municipalities in mid-February, and, in March, all points will start working.

Tags: Rental bicycles posts
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