Without a public bike sharing system, Poznan will no longer be so “smart”. We appeal to the authorities not to suspend this service.
There have recently been public suggestions from the Poznan authorities that the current season of the municipal bike sharing system (PRM) may be the last one financed by the local government. As an organization promoting eco-friendly and effective urban mobility, we decided to take a position and appeal to the city authorities to analyse the scenario, in which the inhabitants and visitors of the fifth most populous city in Poland would be deprived of access to this healthy, sustainable and economic transport option. The full text of the appeal (available only in Polish) can be downloaded at the end of the post.
For the sake of context, we present below a few facts about mobility in Poznan:
- Poznan is one of the pioneers of bike sharing in Poland. The PRM has been operating here for over a decade (the current season is the 11th in a row) and with over 1800 bikes available in the system it is the third largest bike sharing system in the country.
- Poznan’s modal split (as of 2019) has been dominated by passenger cars (37,1% of journeys), followed by public transport (33,5%), walking (21%) and cycling (8,4%).
- After 2019, the number of public transport passengers in Poznan decreased due to COVID-19 by over 30% (in 2019 it was 255 thousand passengers, and in 2021 only 180 thousand passengers). This means the risk of some of them migrating to individual means of transport and an even greater domination of the car in the modal split and public space.
In the situation outlined above, as well as in the face of climate challenges, constantly growing individual motorisation rates or seasonal waves of the pandemic, shutting down for resident the affordable bike sharing system does not seem to be the right move. Due to its lack, some residents will choose so much undesired in a city traveling by private cars, thus increasing the negative impact of excessive car traffic and decreasing the quality of life.