Digital rental bike companies are aiming for student cities

Starting in the cycling student cities of Västerås and Lund, the rental bike company DigiBike aims to roll out its services in other parts of Sweden. The concept is digital with an app and the idea is that the flexibility for the users should be great. CEO Kevin Renhberg is convinced that the international trend of rental bicycles in cities will continue to grow in scope.

You offer rental bicycles in Västerås and Lund using digital technology. Can you briefly explain how it works?
DigiBike is a simple, stationless rental bike service that works to download our app and register an account. You then get a map in the app where you see all available bikes that are available to rent. When you arrive at the bike you want to use, you scan a QR code that sits on the bike's lock with your smartphone and within a few seconds the bike unlocks and you can start cycling.

What to do when you finish cycling?
When you have finished cycling, you park your bike at any location within the city and lock the bike and end the journey in the app. It is precisely our ability to park the bike in any location instead of in designated docking stations as our greatest strength, it offers greater flexibility to users that previous systems have not been able to offer.

Why exactly Västerås and Lund?
Our goal is for DigiBike to be found in all major cities in central and southern Sweden and we found that Västerås and Lund were good cities to start in.

You are aiming to grow. What is the goal?
Now that we have started in these two cities, we feel that we want to expand and many people have heard and said that they like our idea and wonder when we come to their city. We have met and discussed with several different municipalities in Sweden but so far it is not clear which will be our next cities. We mainly target the student cities as we see students as a very large target group.

Who is using your rental bikes?
We see that our service is popular with students in both cities, but many also use it for commuting to and from work. We have also heard that many people use bicycles in their spare time as an easier way to get around the city, to friends, to restaurants, to shopping rounds and more.

You have international connections to both China and the UK. Do you see a global trend towards increased cycling in big cities? 
Yes, absolutely, people are becoming more and more environmentally conscious and people are starting to cycle instead of taking a car or bus in the cities, we see as a very positive development, and we are not alone in that. Many cities around the world have begun to offer rental bicycles as a complement to public transport and this is a trend that I believe will continue to increase.