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Since yesterday, Brno residents will be able to rent shared bikes twice a day for 30 minutes for free. The City of Brno is helping to fund the initiative, in the hope of encouraging cycling. New measures are also being planned to make cycling safer and more comfortable. The City of Brno is this year’s general partner of the “Go to work by bike” event. Photo credit: MMB

Brno, April 12 (BD) – Yesterday, Mayor Markéta Vaňková launched a new project to encourage cycling in Brno. Shared bikes will be available for rent twice a day for 30 minutes for free. This service should be available from 11 April until funding for the initiative is exhausted.

“Not everyone has the opportunity to use their own bicycle, which is why bike sharing exists,” said Vaňková. “In order to promote not only shared travel, but cycling in general, we are introducing from today, in cooperation with Nextbike and Rekola, the possibility to rent a bike twice a day for half an hour for free. Statistics suggest that most journeys around the city take up to fifteen minutes, with another quarter of an hour as a buffer. We want people to be able to enjoy their ride in peace and have enough time to park their bike properly. We hope that people will be responsible and not leave their bikes in places where they are a dangerous obstacle. In Brno, we have bike racks, marked spaces on the road or virtual parking spaces.” According to the mayor, the city will support the action with CZK 2 million.

To ride for free on a shared bike, all that is required is to register with the provider’s app, and then proceed as with a regular rental. Photo credit:  Z. Kolarik, Brno City Municipality

It is possible to ride the bike for more than half an hour, and users will be charged the difference when the ride ends. The free ride option will not just be to the advantage of cyclists, but also for the city. The city will evaluate the data collected and find out where people cycle the most, and which places in Brno should thus be prioritised when planning future development of cycling infrastructure, ensuring that cyclists will be able to pass through the city more safely and comfortably in the future.

This year, the city will also participate in the national Go to Work by Bike challenge, as the general partner for Brno. “Teams of two to five people or individuals can participate,” explained Brno City Councillor for Transport, Petr Kratochvíl (ODS). “The goal is to cover as many kilometres as possible in May by bike, scooter, skates or even on foot. There will be two categories – team regularity and individual green kilometres. In addition, the municipality will reimburse its employees for the entry fee and organise a breakfast for the cyclists on Dominikánské náměstí. It will also compete for the title of Cycling Employer of the Year and Cycling City. We want to show that we have not forgotten about cyclists and we support them, even though the building of facilities for them is going slower than they would like.” 

In the near future, new cycling infrastructure will be added with an underpass at Hladíkova, allowing cyclists to safely cross the busy four-lane road. Trees have already been cut down, the construction site has been marked out, and excavation work has now begun.

But there is more planned. “We are investigating the possibility of building an underpass on Křenová, and the winning projects from the participatory budget will be implemented,” added Kratochvíl. “As part of the flood protection measures, underpasses will be built on Vídeňská and Renneská, and we are also preparing cycle lanes, modification of signage, and so on.”

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