Shipping applications Screw in Prague, on October 12, it will launch a shared electric bicycle service. The bicycles appeared in predetermined places in Prague 1-10 and Prague holds a small lead with this concept – it became the first city in the region of Central and Eastern Europe in which the company operates electric bicycles. On the other hand, e-bike rental in Prague has been operated by Homeport and Rekola for a long time.
So far, Bolt has brought 600 bicycles to Prague, but they will gradually reach the streets within the next few weeks. To date, there should be about half of the imported number in the streets of the capital, ie about 300 bicycles.
Secondary adjustment of user interest is the reason for slow implementation and more demanding logistics. While the electric scooter gets over 50 in one van, the bikes are only a fraction of that number. For the time being, the bikes will be located, for example, on Karlínské náměstí, on Anděl, along the Vltava River, on IP Pavlova, near Holešovice Market Square, but also in more remote hilly districts, such as Kobylisy..
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“We really consider bikes and scooters to be a slightly different concept, although both belong to the same category – micromobility. The main difference is that there is a relatively long and generally positive experience with bicycles in Prague, which is definitely not the case with scooters, ”comments the regional manager of the logistics and taxi startup for Lupa. Roman Sysel. “The difference is, for example, in the target group. While scooters in Prague are mostly used by tourists, bicycles are mainly used by people who actually live here, so I believe that this could also be the case with shared e-bikes, ”he adds.
Parking only within the virtual parking zones
The main problems of electric scooters in the capital were chaotic parking and obstructing scooters on the sidewalks. This should not happen in the case of e-bikes. “We chose a similar system as in the case of the electric scooter in Olomouc, ie reserved parking spaces (they are marked with a blue mark in the application). In Prague, they are located mainly in the vicinity of bicycle stands and outside these zones it will not be possible to end the ride at all (the button for ending the ride will not be displayed), “comments for Lupa Sysel.
According to the operator, parking spaces are selected directly in cooperation with individual city districts. In the event that the battery starts to run low, the passenger application should warn that there is 20% of the battery left to reach the nearest parking space. In addition to parking zones, areas (Old Town Square, Royal Route, Prague Castle, Na příkopě) with a reduced maximum speed of 10 or 15 kilometers per hour were also defined. Passengers will also not be able to ride the e-bike on Charles Bridge and the main pedestrian zones.
Technical parameters and driving observations
The rental process will take place similarly to scooters, so unlocking the bike is free and the user pays 5 crowns per minute for the first minutes of the ride, then the price drops to four crowns per minute. All you need to rent is the standard Bolt application on your phone. There is a bike icon in it, which redirects the user to the rental interface. The specific wheel selected must be unlocked by scanning the QR code, which is located on the handlebars and rear bumper (see photos in the gallery). The driving fee is automatically deducted from the card that is paired with the application.
Bolt in Prague offers standard industrially produced e-bikes (unlike parts of the scooter, in which the company uses its own modular design developed especially for European cities), each weighing 22 kg. In contrast to scooters, the bikes have replaceable batteries and should be able to travel up to 65 km, depending on the type of off-road driving. The maximum speed outside the speed limit zone is limited to 25 km / h (respectively, when the limit is reached, the engine stops working). The ride is physically started by stepping on the pedals, which also instructs the electric motor to start engaging. Pedaling can also accelerate the ride. The bike can be stopped as standard with the normal rear and front brakes, the engine should also slow down if the user stops pedaling completely.
The initial acceleration is relatively fast, which needs to be taken into account if the user starts driving on a busier street. However, the bike itself is relatively easy to control and it is not a problem to “choke” quickly, practically immediately after the start of the ride, or to set the beginner mode with a speed limit of 10 km / h immediately before the ride. The wheels at the front contain a basket suitable for transporting lighter loads, but it is necessary to take into account that the load slightly slows down the reaction of the handlebars and should not obstruct the view.