In accordance with the planned advancement of urbanization, socialization and citization, the BTC Company BTC and Citypark shopping centre, in cooperation with the City municipality of Ljubljana, today publicly presented three new BicikeLJ rental spots. These now extend the self-service bike rental network into the urban centre BTC City Ljubljana. By expanding onto the eastern part of Ljubljana, the new rental spots affirm the integration of BTC City in the city’s transport infrastructure and significantly contribute to the advancement of sustainable urban mobility and the popularity of cycling. At the event, members of the first Slovenian professional women’s cycling team BTC City Ljubljana as well as members of cycling team Radenska Rog also took a ride on the BicikeLJ bikes.
The longtime partnership between BTC City, Citypark and the City municipality of Ljubljana facilitated a number of developmental projects, among them the most recent acquisition in Slovenia’s foremost business, shopping, recreational, entertainment and cultural centre, three new BicikeLJ bike rental spots – two of them co-financed by the BTC Company and one by Citypark Ljubljana. The new rental spots are located between Hall A and the BTC City Marketplace, near Atlantis Water Park and Citypark.
“The bike rental spots in the eastern part of Ljubljana are an important acquisition for BTC City, as well as for the city of Ljubljana and its citizens, because they supplement the self-service bike rental network. I am happy to see that BicikeLJ has become such a popular means of transport. According to recent data, BicikeLJ has more than 25,000 active users and in May of this year the bike sharing system already saw its two millionth rental,” said Zoran Janković, mayor of the City municipality of Ljubljana, and furthermore stressed the fact that Ljubljana has received the complimentary title European Green Capital 2016, which proves that the steps that the City municipality of Ljubljana has taken in order to improve the quality of life of its citizens are the right ones. Every year, the title is awarded, by recommendation of the European Commission, to a city that meets high environmental standards and is working towards ambitious goals for additional environmental improvements and sustainable development.
Visitors to BTC City can also opt for the public transport bus line, which means that they can now, with the activation of the new rental spots, combine no less than three different means of transport: car, bus and bike. In addition, the Urbana paycard, which is valid for both the city bus lines and the BicikeLJ bikes, makes travel in the area of BTC City and the entire city of Ljubljana even easier.
At the opening ceremony, Jože Mermal, president of the BTC Management Board, once again pointed out that the new rental spots are a result of the longtime partnership between BTC and the City municipality of Ljubljana. For decades, the two have cooperated on projects related to traffic safety, sustainable urban mobility and the development of the city of Ljubljana: “It should be noted that this partnership has produced numerous urban projects, perhaps most significantly the Intermodal logistics centre and the Šmartinska Partnership. In this respect, it is important that the eastern part of the city and the city centre coalesce into a functionally integrated whole. In addition, BTC and the City municipality of Ljubljana pay a lot of attention to activities that raise the profile and the popularity of cycling, all in the spirit of partnership. Together we raise awareness on the importance of traffic safety, annually organize the biggest cycling marathon in Slovenia, the Marathon Franja BTC City, and this year also the Amateur World Road Championships UWCT Final 2014. Together we have founded the first and only Slovenian professional women’s cycling team, the BTC City Ljubljana team. All the cycling-related projects undertaken by BTC are also a part of the new pillar of our business operations “Mission: Green”, which is becoming a significant driving force in the green transformation of society, encouraging our business partners and customers to act sustainably.”
Toni Pugelj, the Citypark centre manager, added that the new BicikeLJ rental spot near Citypark is part of their mission to preserve nature. “As Slovenia’s largest shopping centre, Citypark is a socially responsible and ecologically-oriented company. In our business operations we constantly strive to return to nature. Only recently, we organized the environmental charity ‘Adopt a tree’. Such projects, and the new BicikeLJ rental station, are nature-friendly, since they also contribute to diminishing our carbon footprint. We believe that the BicikeLJ rental spot will be a lively one indeed, that nature will reward our good deeds and that the visitors will use the bikes to strengthen their bodies. Access to Citypark is now even easier, and, if I may say so, especially healthier. I believe we all know the saying Get on the bike and your health will be right..”
Boštjan Brantuša, the SES centre manager for Slovenia, drew attention to the immense surface area of Slovenia’s shopping centres and stressed the importance of their being tightly linked with the ecology and caring for healthy citizens. “We preserve nature and encourage all of Slovenia to join us in our eco-actions. When it comes to a green and responsible way of life, only actions matter. We do not lose sight of the bigger picture and care for the future health of people and a clean nature.”
At the opening of the new rental spots, members of the first Slovenian professional women’s cycling team BTC City Ljubljana and members of cycling team Radenska Rog also took a ride on the BicikeLJ bikes. With some excellent results at international races, members of the women’s cycling team have already managed to spread the word of Ljubljana and Slovenia internationally in a very short amount of time. By taking a ride on the bikes, the racers, who have recently returned home from one of the toughest races in the UCI calendar, the Giro Rosa, symbolically showed that Ljubljana is a green, sustainability-oriented and healthy city, where cyclists play a special role.
About the BicikeLJ bike sharing system
The BicikeLJ self-service rental bikes supplement the public transport system in Ljubljana and are the fastest and cheapest means of transport in the city centre. The system is easy to use and enables the user to rent or return the bike in a time period of only a couple of minutes at any of the bike rental spots in the city. The BicikeLJ bike sharing system has 36 rental stations, which are easily accessible and perfect for short distances.
Did you know?
- The BicikeLJ bike sharing system was first activated on 12 May 2011.
- It currently has 25,589 active users.
- The total number of users in three years amounts to 57,000 people, most of them annual subscribers to the rental service (only 8,706 weekly subscribers).
- In this period of time, the system saw almost 2,200,000 rentals.
- From May of this year until today, the system saw up to 4,000 rentals per day during the week and up to 2,000 rentals per day on weekends.
- In June and July of this year, rides or rentals lasted about 17 minutes on average.
- Two thirds of users are from 18 to 35 years old.
- Almost 60 % of the users are men.
- Approximately two thirds of the users are from Ljubljana, the others mostly from the vicinity of Ljubljana, some also from Domžale and the Gorenjska region.
- During the cycling season, as many as 13 or 14 rentals per bike per day are made on average.
- Rentals are free-of-charge (with the exception of the fact that users pay 1 EUR for a weekly and 3 EUR for a yearly subscription), since more than 99 % of the rentals are shorter than one hour.
Additional information on the BicikeLJ bike sharing system is available online at www.bicikelj.si.
Maja Oven, Director of the Market Communication and Public Relations Sector
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