When the new electric-driven GoBike city bikes were unveiled in April last year to much aplomb, the long-awaited high-tech bikes were hailed as a much-needed successor to the worn-out city bikes of yesteryear.
But the prestigious new city bike project, which costs about 46,000 kroner per bicycle – including maintenance – over the next eight years, has been losing its momentum over the winter.
While over 5,000 people used the bikes in June and July last year, just over 500 used the bikes during the first half of December and only 256 people signed subscriptions, which was the central idea behind the new city bike concept. Opposition party Konservative is not impressed.
”This goes to show how ridiculous this project is,” Jakob Næsager, a Konservative city councillor, told Politiken newspaper. ”This is simply a prestige project for the technical and environment deputy mayor, because in reality, it does nothing.”
The project has also been delayed. There should be 1,860 new GoBikes on the streets of Copenhagen, but at the moment there are just 426. There are also only 27 docking stations, when there should be 105 in place.
The delays have been blamed on the German distributor MIFA – which was supposed to deliver the GoBikes to Denmark – going into receivership last autumn.
The GoBike – which is fitted with a vandalism-proof computer tablet that includes a GPS and payment system – replaced an older model that was known as the 'hedge gate' because people often used and abused it before leaving it propped up against a hedge somewhere.
With the new bikes, the user pays 25 kroner per hour to use the bikes or they can pay a 70 kroner subscription after which the bikes cost just six kroner per hour to use.