In the spring of 2017 German Railways and discounter supermarket Lidl will join hands to launch a new bicycle rental system in Berlin. An alternative to Leipzig based Nextbike, the new bicycle-rental system is christened as “Lidl bikes.” German railways, Deutsche Bahn has announced that it would launch city bikes in the spring with a fleet of 3,500 wheels. Lidl would be the sponsor for these bikes.
It was not long since the Senate and the company Nextbike agreed to set up the largest rental bike system in Germany – with more than 5000 two-wheelers at 700 stations. In the race for state subsidies, one and a half million euros per year, Deutsche Bahn (DB) lost to Nextbike. Derby Cycles in the Lower Saxony Cloppenburg would be the manufactures of Lidl bikes.
“Customers want to be sure that they find a bike everywhere. This can only be done with quantity, mass, volume. “It is important:” We go on. We want to stay in Berlin “- even if the DB is no longer receiving subsidies for a rental bike system. But without a sponsor an offer would not be possible anymore. DB Rent would no longer benefit from a subsidy transaction in Berlin. For a long time, we were looking for a sponsor who “suits us,” says Sylvia Lier, CEO of Deutsche Bahn.
According to Senatsverwaltung, Nextbike is currently investigating which places are being taken over by the railways. Already two weeks ago the provider had begun with the test operation. In the spring, more than 2,000 bicycles will be available to customers at 200 stations.