Oslo City Bike follows a tender from the Municipality of Oslo with specifications on the amount of locks and bikes the system should have in total. During the 2018 season, the city bike system is more or less complete. The stations are distributed all over town, from Ring 1 to Ring 3. We still have a lot of different plans on how to reach the goal that's stated in the tender. In part this entails how to get more stations up and running. The majority of newly built stations are located in the city center. This is basically because we want to make sure that the distance between each station is shorter. We're actively working on optimizing the locations so that they work for the system as a whole, and of course to ensure that everyone can city bike even more.
How does a bicycle station come to life?
The road from idea to finished station is a comprehensive one: Each station starts as a predisposition - but before it's up and running we have to go through a 13 step process involving many different people and parties.
The road to a bicycle station
- Planning: Where are stations needed? We take your input into account! Other important factors are: connection points with public transport, areas with few City Bikes, whether it's accessible for the service trucks, and ease of use for you guys.
- Inspection: We won't be able to build a station without physical space to do so, therefor we check out every spot. While there we use laser measurement to inspect the ground, we check for essentials as access to power and evaluate safety both for pedestrians and people driving to mention some of it. Some locations turn out to be unsuitable, other places work if we can reallocate some parking lots nearby.
- Drawing: The station is drawn into a map as a proposal with the amount of locks it could handle, and commercial spots. We can fit three or five locks per 2,2 meters depending on whether it's a one sided or double sided station.
- Hearing: The proposal is sent out for hearing to different agencies like the Town District, traffic authorities, Park and Sports, the Cultural Heritage Office or others who might want to have a say. We also send out a notification to affected neighbors.
- Agreements: If the station is placed on private property, we have to make a deal with the respective owner. This also has to be done if we have to pull the power from a private power source.
- (After step five, we often have to go back to step one because government agencies and/or other affected people has objections to the location. If this is the case, we'll have to look for other locations in the area).
- Application: If we haven't encountered any obstacles, the Bymiljøetat kan apply to the Plan- og bygningsetat for permission to build the station.
- New inspection: Before we can start digging, we have to check the area for other cabels and we need a permission to do so. In some cases we need to apply to put up a temporary sign.
- Application: Before we can start building the station, the entrepreneur has to apply to Oslo Municipality.
- Placement of signs: In some cases, for example if we use parts of a parking space, a new decision has to be made by the Municipality regarding placement of signs in the area.
- Digging: When all permissions and applications are granted, the entrepreneur can start working. Asphalt has to be cut, foundations are to be made and power is carried forward into a nearby ditch.
- Assembly: The station and commercial spots are assembled onto the foundation and power is connected.
- Final certificate: The station is ready when we get a final certificate from Plan- og Bygningsetaten. The station is put into the app and our website, and is ready to use!
When we've reached our target and 3000 City Bikes are rolling around Oslo, we will have gone through this process almost 300 times.
Do you have any suggestions for where we should locate new stations?
What we're looking for is:
- Locations within Ring 3, preferably close to public transport stations and that are easy to spot from different angles.
- A relatively flat area with a minimum of 7 x 2,5 meters, with power not to far away. Our service trucks also needs to have easy access.
Send the suggestion with the closest street address or GPS-coordinates to us, and we'll take it with us to the planning board. As you probably understand, we can't guarantee that a station will be built, but we promise to consider all suggestions.
Thank you for helping us!