Big interest within the wider region for one piece of highly sought-after Croatian innovation.
As Sasa Paparella/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 15th of May, 2018, the project’s initiators are working on integrating public transport through a single application, but have noted that HŽ isn’t ready for that yet.
Five years after this saga began as a mere pilot project, the Nextbike public bicycle system has attracted 30,000 users to twenty cities in Croatia and in neighbouring Bosnia and Herzegovina. There are now 550 bikes available to users, and the next goal is to reach thirty cities.
By the time this summer rolls around, both Jastrebarsko and Drniš will join in on this project, where it will be linked to Krka National Park.
“The bikes will be available in thirty cities by the year 2020. By 2020, we’re aiming to gather 100,000 users in the countries of the former Yugoslavia, something which has already begun, and services are available in three cities in Bosnia and Herzegovina – Sarajevo, Tuzla, and Banja Luka. We’re getting calls from Slovenia and Serbia, investors are interested in joining the project, aware that sustainable mobility in cities is becoming very important,” Krešimir Dvorski, stated at a recent press conference held in Zagreb, who, together with Ante Gustina, leads the popular and innovative project. Back in 2016, their company saw very welcome revenues of 2.3 million kuna.
Nextbike’s services are offered in several variants. Beneficiaries of a one-year subscription at an attractive price of just 200 kuna receive the right to 1,200 kuna’s worth of the use of the bicycles. Tourists are also offered the possibility of a seven-day subscription to the services, which more specifically equals 600 minutes for 100 kuna. Finally, there is a pay as you go service, where you pay five kuna for thity minutes, while an electric bicycle would cost ten kuna.
“There are no copy and paste solutions nor can there be any copying of other models, only we do SMS payments,” they state from Nextbike.
The next step is to integrate public transport through a unique application (app) so that users can plan their route via one platform, but Croatia’s HŽ isn’t ready for such a move just yet, according to Dvorski. In Zagreb, where Nextbike alrrady boasts 10,500 users, the city itself has given public space to bicycle stations, with several private companies quickly following suit, too. Numerous socially responsible employers across the country have also gladly participated in the project.
“Initially, we were told that this isn’t Denmark or Germany, because we don’t have good infrastructure and the mentality of our people is different. Today, Croatia is among the leading European countries by the number of cities involved in the project,” concluded Dvorski.