In 2009, the Federal Ministry of Transport initiated pilot projects with the aim of developing public cycle hire schemes to become a component of an intermodal chain of transport. The objective was to combine the benefits of cycling with the advantages of efficient and attractive local public transport. Public cycle hire schemes were already in place in numerous European cities (e.g. Barcelona, Lyon, Paris, London, Stockholm and Vienna) as well as in some German cities and regions. However, no schemes yet existed anywhere in the world which integrate the bicycle as a zero-emission means of private transport into the range of local public transport services with a view to aspects of charging, construction and organisation.
The pilot projects were evaluated in two phases in order to further develop the public cycle hire schemes and to analyse their impacts and potential. The findings are to enable other local authorities and regions to conceive and establish an efficient public cycle hire scheme.
The first phase of evaluation was carried out in 2010 and 2011. The findings were presented in the brochure "Innovative öffentliche Fahrradverleihsysteme. Modellprojekte am Start" (Innovative public cycle hire schemes - pilot projects on the go) and also published in an online publication of the Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development. The first phase was supplemented by a special expert report on the legal and financial aspects of public cycle hire schemes.