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September 03, 2004

Bike Rental by the Hour

Vienna Rent-a-Bike 2.jpgFor those of you unfamiliar with the "Car By the Hour" rental agencies that are now springing up in Washington, New York, Boston, and San Francisco, the idea is something like this:

Say you're at work and you need to run out to a doctor's appointment about 15 minute drive away. Normally you take the metro to work, but because of the appointment, you need to drive or spend an extra hour on the metro getting there and back while missing quality work time. Or, you live in the city and, like RJ3, have an unnatural attraction to IKEA but no way to get there. Companies like ZipCar and FlexCar solve this problem by letting you rent a car for a couple of hours for a simple hourly fee.

Vienna, Austria has a new twist on the plan. Instead of renting cars by the hour, they let you rent bikes from automated bike rental machines (like the one below). This is the second iteration of the program. Apparently, you could originally rent the bikes by inserting a two-euro coin to release them, but too many weren't being returned. Now, you use your credit card to release the bikes (I'm unsure if there are any fees involved, as I speak no German), and you can use the bikes to run all the same types of errands that you don't want to have to walk or take transit to. Quite an innovative idea and one that gets the Third Rail seal of approval.

Vienna Rent-a-Bike 1.jpg

Post Author: amg | 11:45 AM | Link | TrackBacks

If the word "Kaution" appears, that might indicate there's a deposit to be returned.

"Miet-": rent
"Kaution": deposit, returned if the conditions of the rental are met

Posted by: Amanda at September 8, 2004 01:28 PM
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