The comune lauds it as the largest and most technologically advanced platform in the world and started to supply bikes in mid June with a progressive deployment over the summer. Any bike stations are already in use around the city.
The duration of the service will be six years with a total of 2,200 Mobike Lite 3-speed and 300 e-bikes available 24 hours a day with over 200 assigned parking lots. By the end of the summer, the first thousand bicycles will be operational, continuing for successive phases until the overall fleet is deployed within the year.
With such innovation, Bologna is inching closer to being a smart city indeed. In fact, free-flow bike sharing is the ideal solution for short routes, giving great impetus to the so-called ‘intermodality’. The free flow system, in addition to enhancing the number of shared bicycles available to citizens, offers the public an easy and fast service, based on a simplicity of use geared to the needs of the community.
To simplify the use by users, the municipality has prepared a series of spaces reserved for the parking of the bikes referred to as Mobike Hubs, which are visible in the map of the free Mobike app downloadable from Apple Store or Google Play. Identified by the signs, the Mobike Hub will be located throughout the Mobike operating area extended for three kilometres of radius from the Two Towers to the entire circle of avenues and the main lines of mobility going out from the centre, with particular attention to the connection of more frequented points. Taking advantage of the revolutionary beacon technology, Mobike guarantees proper independence and rewards those who park inside Mobike Hubs with great discounts.
“Bologna is a candidate to be an innovative and sustainable city, starting with this new bike sharing to achieve goals of decreasing vehicular traffic,” says the councillor for mobility policies, Irene Priolo, “but above all giving citizens and tourists a new service in support of their daily travels. The use of the bicycle is increasingly becoming a new and healthy lifestyle that, even in this way, we aim to encourage.”
Alessandro Felici, CEO of Evlonet who distributes and manages Mobike in Italy reiterates, that, “The Municipality of Bologna has undertaken to use the most innovative technologies available at an international level on bike sharing. Bologna will be the first city in Italy and Europe to make use of a free ebike service, with a parking control system, equipped with beacon technology to guarantee the correct parking, rewarding with great discounts the bikes parked in the Mobike areas. There will also be an emergency service for the recovery and control of bikes parked outside the Mobike areas. These systems will revolutionize sustainable mobility, bringing benefits both for economic growth and for the citizens of Bologna.”
User must download the free Mobike application from the Apple Store or from Google Play. Next, create an account using the mobile phone number to which the verification code will be entered to pay the security deposit by credit/debit card to guarantee coverage, at least partially, of costs incurred in case of inappropriate behaviour or vandalism by the user. Also through the App you can consult the map by locating the nearest bicycles and book them (maximum 15 minutes) simply by clicking on the first icon with the bike and then on ‘Book’. Once the vehicle has been identified, simply click on the ‘Unlock’ button and scanning the QR code near the bike handlebar the padlock opens automatically; when you reach your destination you can leave your bike safely in one of the available Mobike Hubs by closing the lever on the smart lock. The App will automatically complete the journey.