Dutch ‘Swap-bike’ launches private lease bikes in Antwerp
On Thursday in Antwerp Swapfiets (Swap-bike) was launched, a new bicycle system, based on the principle of personal leasing. The concept comes from the Netherlands, where Swapfiets already has 33.000 clients and was nominated ‘Dutch start-up of the Year’. It was developed by three students of the Technical University of Delft (Netherlands).
Stylish city bikes
Swapfiets was already introduced in Leuven but since yesterday the first Antwerp subscribers are riding around with the stylish city bikes with the eye-catching blue front wheels. Swapfiets hopes to have 2.500 subscriptions within a year.
The principle is simple: for 17,5 euro per month – students only pay 15 euro – subscribers get a bicycle with seven gears, a double lock, lights and a theft insurance. In case of a defect, like a flat tyre, a bicycle repairer will come within 12 hours after your call to mend the problem or to ‘swap’ the bike for another one.
When you stop your subscription the bike will be picked up or given to another customer to avoid left behind bikes free-floating in the city or taking places in bike racks.
Antwerp Alderman for Mobility, Koen Kennis (N-VA) is happy with the extra bicycle system in the city, as an addition to the existing Velo and Cloudbike. “Swapfiets is an ideal solution for people not wanting to buy a bike but still wanting to have one at their disposal all the time”, he says.
‘My Mobility, My Freedom’
“Antwerp wants to be a trendsetter when it comes to smart mobility. We want to change the old slogan ‘My Car, My Freedom’ into ‘My Mobility, My Freedom’ and I’m convinced that not only students but companies as well will be interested in the new system.