What are the functions of wheels

New wheels, new functions: What is now changing for KVB bikes in Cologne

Why are the KVB bikes being exchanged?

The contract with the operator “nextbike” expired after five years. The new tender also won “nextbike” again. But it was linked to a whole series of innovations. In addition, a success story is to be continued: In five years, the KVB-Rad had over five million loans. In the peak years of 2018 and 2019, an average of 1.2 million trips per year were made with the 1500 bikes of the old fleet. With the new fleet of 3,000 bikes, the transport company wants to increase this figure to two to three million.

What changes in the tariffs?

The success model of the KVB-Fahrrad is based on the connection with a subscription ticket of the transport company. Subscription customers can cycle for free for the first 30 minutes. And longer too, because after 30 minutes a new loan can take place again. Thus, the follow-up tariff of one euro for half an hour after the 31st minute is rather wasted. The KVB is sticking to this concept. Non-subscription customers pay one euro for 15 minutes, up to a maximum of 15 euros. What is new is that schoolchildren aged 16 and over can also rent bikes. This was previously not possible due to insurance law reasons.

Can the bikes now also be reserved?

One annoyance so far: A free bike is shown on the map in the app, a short farewell to friends, then the way to the bike - and someone else has grabbed it in the meantime. That can now be prevented. The new KVB bikes can be reserved for up to 15 minutes.

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What changes in the loan process?

Thank goodness almost everything. The old method of entering a code using a keyboard on the bike was complicated and error-prone. In the future, this should work via a barcode in the KVB and nextbike app or via the chip in the KVB subscription card. Also important: the second generation of KVB bikes has a new location technology. This should make the information about availability and location much more reliable than before.

Where can the bike be parked?

In the inner city center - referred to by the KVB as the “blue flex zone” - bikes can be parked on any public street. Exceptions are, among other things, parks, the banks of the Rhine, the Rhine bridges or the Domplatte. Violating it will be expensive: 20 euros. In the outskirts of the city center (pink flex zone), the bikes can be parked on the main streets. An additional euro is due in side streets and dead ends. Outside the city center, bicycles may only be parked in stations whose locations are currently being discussed by the district representatives. But nobody has to know all this by heart: A green or red flashing light-emitting diode in the rear wheel area now shows where parking is permitted.