the Copenhagen bike share has been on my list of "things to see" long before I knew I was coming to Sweden/ Malmo/ Scandanavia/ Denmark. the Copenhagen bike share, started in 1995, was successful many years before Paris, Barcelona, and even Boston jumped into the fray. though it was not the first bike share program in the world, it was the first large scale, "free" city system that had unique bikes (parts could not be easily interchanged with other bikes). unlimited bike use for a small deposit, bike stands throughout the downtown area, and a strict boundary of where the bikes could be used (police fine bike users if caught outside downtown city limits) factored into making the system a huge success.
|Copenhagen bike share bike lying in the street. maybe the borrower of this bike went into the lego store?|
Danish (yes, this is where they come from) to create two of the necessary 20 kroner coins to unlock the two bikes.
|bike share bike rack in popular square in Copenhagen. all of the bike share bikes are gone and regular bikes are locked in their place. you can see the chain with the key at the end dangling down to the cobblestones.|
|inserting 20 dkk into the locking mechanism to release the key (top) that frees the bike to be ridden. the chain in the picture connects the key to the bike rack and dangles freely once the bike is released.|
|five bike share bikes all locked to the rack on a street near downtown. jackpot. or maybe not...|
|after adding the correct 20 dkk coin, the key releases, freeing the bike|
|once the key is reinserted, the coin pops free from the bottom|
|two Copenhagen bike share bikes locked together with personal lock, making them inaccessible to regular people|
for more info on:
- the history of bike sharing, check out wikipedia's bike share description which is quite detailed and informative
- Copenhagen's city bikes via wikipedia or the Danish website
- Boston's Hubway bike share
- the free iphone app that locates available share bikes (certain cities only)