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Valenbisi: The City’s New Bike Rental Service

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There’s been talk of a city-wide bike rental scheme for a long time, and it’s finally here. Introducing Valenbisi.

We lived in Berlin, where the Deutsche Bahn (the railway company) operated a very popular bike rental service. You’d just type the bike’s serial number into your cell phone, hop on, then park it when done. Very practical, and we’ve been aching for Valencia for implement such a system.

So Valenbisi, run by the city government, is very welcome. Bikes are the best way to get around Valencia, bar none, and we think that the service is going to be extremely popular. The bikes look sturdy and strong. The prices are reasonable — €10 for a 7-day subscription — the first 30 minutes are always free, then it’s €0,50 for the next 30 mins and €3,00 for every additional hour.

There’s at least one major problem: the dispersal of the “rental stations”. They’re all in the same area of town! I’d like to say that this was just a roll-out problem, but … check out this map. The red arrows are the current rental stations, and the white ones are the “future” ones:

Not a single station anywhere in the historic center? Ruzafa? The train station? There must be a reason, but tourist friendly, it’s not. Great for students of the U of Valencia, and perhaps that’s the true target market. (Though if you’re targeting hip college students, this might not be the best image to put on your website).

Update: The consensus in the comments is that the bikes will be better distributed throughout the city in the future, and there’s a link for future locations can be found there. Valenbisi should put this information on its website.

Anyway — the addition of 2750 bikes to Valencia’s streets is extremely welcome. We need more bikers on the streets, which will lead to better bike paths and more respect from drivers.

We’d love some comments from anyone who’s used the service, in regards to the quality of the bikes and the ease of rental.

Valenbisi’s Web Site (with really bad English! Seriously, guys, hire a translator! There are a few native English speakers in the city)

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June 22, 2010 at 5:04 pm Comments (7)