Tel Aviv bicycles 311.
(photo credit: Tel Aviv Municipality)
Tel Aviv-Yafo has joined a host of European cities by initiating a bike rental
program within its borders – allowing commuters to hop on and off at locations
scattered throughout the municipality.
The initiative will begin with a
month-long trial period that commenced last week, the city
After the first day of project “Tel-O-Fun,” administered by
the city’s Economic Development Authority, 200 members signed up for the rental
service – which for the first month is available to annual subscribers at rates
of NIS 240 for city residents, and NIS 280 for others, according to the
The first 20 of 150 anchored bike switching stations (each
including 20 bicycle berths) were launched initially – with 30 stations already
operational by the end of the day Monday, according to the initiative’s
Currently, Tel Aviv-Yafo reports that it has constructed over
100 kilometers of bike paths around the city, and estimates that approximately
45 percent of the city’s residents own bicycles.
“We just launched last
Thursday the 20 active bicycle stations, and we are adding five to six stations
every day. By the end of today we will have about 35 active stations,” Sharon
Keren, CEO of Tel Aviv’s Economic Development Authority, told The Jerusalem Post
“By the end of the month we should have around 70 stations,
which will fully cover the central area of the city. From then on we will expand
to the neighborhoods surrounding the central areas – the southeastern and
northern neighborhoods – which will take another two to three months,” she
Eventually, riders will be able to sign up for both daily and
weekly registration (at NIS 14 and NIS 60, respectively), as well as hourly
The first half hour will be free, the second and third
half hours will cost NIS 5, and each additional half hour will increase in price
incrementally, according to the city.
As far as the annual subscription
goes, the city is getting about 100 new subscribers every day, according to
The stations are being placed according to several criteria,
including overall centrality and accessibility, proximity to public
transportation hubs and proximity to bike paths. Additionally, each station will
be an average of 250 meters from the next station within the center of the city,
the municipality said.
The city government sees the establishment of the
new bike rental network as an essential component among the efforts the
municipality has taken in the past decade to promote more environmentally
friendly methods of transportation.
“It took us about three years to
understand what we wanted to do and to execute it – this was a very complicated
project,” Keren said.
“We are very happy and excited that this is
starting and that we are able to give a very affordable and environmentally
friendly solution to traveling around the city without a car, without parking
terminals. This puts us in the same line with very advanced cities like
Barcelona, London, Paris and so on.”
The Ministry of Environmental
Protection supports the new effort, as well.
“Bicycles can be used to go
to work, for example, which is of course my dream,” Environmental Protection
Minister Gilad Erdan told the Post
during an interview on Monday. “There is
nothing cleaner than bicycle use – not to mention that riding bikes reduces
pollution and traffic.”