The Fairvelo project in Vorarlberg is pursuing ambitious goals. If initiator Eric Poscher-Mika has his way, then in the long term “a cargo bike should be available at every bus stop in Vorarlberg.” It is a long way until then. However, at least the first step has now been taken. The crowdfunding campaign has reached its minimum goal of $5,600 (€5,000), so the rental platform for e-load bikes will launch in 2022. For the time being, said Poscher-Mika, in the cities of Dornbirn, Feldkirch, and Bregenz.
The mastermind behind the idea is a Cargobike expert and operator of the bike store Vorradeln in Dornbirn. The rental platform is a long-cherished dream of Poscher-Mika that is now becoming reality. Via an app, Fairvelo offers the simple option of renting an e-bike whenever you need it – whether for shopping or transporting the kids. In addition to individual users, municipalities, companies, and communities are also encouraged to participate in the project.
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Rhine Valley seen as the perfect test region
Through the crowdfunding campaign as well as sponsors, the first Fairvelo bikes will be purchased and the associated booking platform activated. For every additional $4,500 (€4,000), another cargo bike will be purchased, according to the organizer. He sees great potential for e-load bikes, especially in the Rhine Valley and the Lake Constance region. In return, supporters of the crowdfunding campaign will receive vouchers for the use of the Fairvelos.
The project aims to make a low-CO2 form of mobility accessible to as many people as possible and thus contribute to the mobility revolution. E-bikes may be practical, but they are expensive to buy. The aim is to overcome this price hurdle with low rental fees. For the first two hours, the rental fee is two euros per hour; from the third hour, the rental fee drops to one euro per hour.
A cargo bike for the block
In addition to its own rental locations, Fairvelo also wants to make its model palatable to others. Poscher-Mika is convinced that municipalities and companies are predestined for this. But also the parties of a housing estate could simply share an e-bike and thus the costs for it. To keep the bikes in good shape, Fairvelo has its own workshop service, which ensures that the bikes are always ready to ride. In addition to providing, maintaining, and insuring the bikes, the organizers also offer their partners marketing materials, test campaigns, and project work. “To make the transport bikes better known among the population and to make the project a success,” Poscher-Mika explained.
As soon as the first Fairvelos are available for rental, there will be a practical test of the pedals, including a report on the experience.
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First published in DER STANDARD, a third-party contributor translated and adapted the article from the original. In case of discrepancy, the original will prevail.
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