A bicycle parking station is a building or structure designed for use as a bicycle parking facility. Such a facility can be as simple as a lockable bike cage or shed or as complex as a purpose-built multi-level building: the common purpose is that they provide secure bicycle parking. Bicycle parking stations also go by names such as bike stations, bicycle centers and cycle centers, among many others.
Bicycle parking stations can offer additional facilities such as bicycle repairs, and customer facilities such as showers or lockers. Some are staffed while others are not. Some require users to join as members while others are on a per use basis or completely free of charge. Some are based at railway stations to facilitate "bike and ride" multi-modal transport, while others are situated at the end of the commute and as such are located in town or city centres, universities, and workplaces. Advanced bicycle parking station provide protection from weather, thieves and vandalism not only for the vehicle but also for the helmets and other personal belongings. In order to use less floor space, they store the vehicles vertically, either in a kind of towers or under the floor in shafts. It is important that the access time is short, even if several users want to store or transfer their bicycles at the same time.
Bicycle parking stations are often operated by local governments or municipalities or they can be private businesses run by bike shops or non-profit bicycle advocacy organizations. Some are fully automated.
A bicycle parking station almost always has the following basic attributes:
- indoor or sheltered bike parking, and
- bicycle parking racks to lock bicycles to.
They can also additionally have any of the following.
Security: In terms of secure access to prevent theft or vandalism, a bike station could have:
- on-site staff during the day,
- a gate or door secured by key or by electronic card access.
Customer facilities: For the customer there may be additional services, such as:
- lockers, changing rooms,
- showers, bathrooms and toilets,
- drinking fountains,
- food and/or beverages, usually via vending machine
- information available, such as pamphlets/brochures for bicycle safety, maps and other literature,e.g. about cycling routes or nearby points of interest. Some may even provide classes, e.g. bike maintenance or local area knowledge.
Bike services: Some bike stations (such as at many railway stations in the Netherlands) have staff who are able to carry out simple or complex repairs for a fee. This is very handy for commuters who can leave their bike there in the morning and pick it up fully repaired at the end of the day when on the way home. Regardless of whether repairs are available at a station or not, the station may also provide:
- parts and accessories for sale
- air pump for self-repair of flat tyres
- bicycle rental.
Business models: As for pricing, bike stations can be completely free-of-charge, pay per use (usually a daily rate or per hour) or by membership/subscription only, or indeed by any other financial model. To reiterate, bicycle parking stations can be:
- a user pays service: In this case stations cost money to use, either through daily, weekly, monthly payments or through periodic memberships (though sometimes non-members can pay for daytime locker use).
- a free-of-charge service. In this case the bike stations are usually fully paid for by the local municipality, local regional government, or by the operating company (e.g. for bicycle parking stations located at railway stations)
- anything in between: For example, some small charge may be required from the end-user (e.g. an administration charge) but the bulk of the operating costs are paid for by the municipality.
Bicycle parking stations around the world
The following is a list of selected bicycle parking stations located in several countries around the world, often at train stations.
- Melbourne, Victoria - As of April 2014[update] there are 60 Parkiteer bicycle cages spread throughout Melbourne's 216 suburban railway stations and a further 11 Parkiteer cages at regional V/Line stations across the state of Victoria. These cages are accessible via registered swipe card only and most have bike racks for 26 bicycles each, though some have additional capacity.
- Brisbane, Queensland
- United Kingdom
- North America
- South America
- The bike station in Washington, D.C., opened in 2009 and cost 4 million US dollars for 1,700 square feet (160 m2) of space and storage for 150 bicycles.
- The King George Square Cycle Centre in Brisbane, Queensland opened in June 2008 and cost 7 million Australian dollars. It has 33 showers, 420 lockers, and parking for 420 bicycles in two-level racks.
- The bike station at Utrecht Railway Station in the Netherlands will cost an estimated 48 million Euro's and will hold 12,500 bicycles, making it the world's largest. Completion is foreseen in 2018.
- The RBWH Cycle Centre in Brisbane opened in November 2009 and cost A$8 million. It has 40 showers, more than 900 lockers, and parking for 750 bicycles.
- The Parkiteer swipe card accessible bike cages of Victoria, Australia, which have at least 26 racks in them and cost approximately $AUD110,000 each.
- Brettman, Allan (2005-06-23). "Official Recruits Portland To Build Bike Center". The Oregonian. Retrieved 2009-07-28.
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- "Registration and Locations". Bicycle Network Victoria. Archived from the original on 21 April 2013. Retrieved 8 April 2013.
- cycle2city, accessed 11 May 2010.
- RBWH Cycle Centre, accessed 11 May 2010.
- , accessed 28 May 2018.
- Deutsche Bahn/ Bahnhofssuche, accessed 29 May 2011.
- City of Düren/ Fahrradparkhaus Archived 2011-06-15 at the Wayback Machine, accessed 29 May 2011.
- Zweirad-Buelke/ Fahrradparkhaus Archived 2012-05-04 at the Wayback Machine, accessed 29 May 2011.
- See: Utrecht to build world's biggest bike park - for 12,500 bikes, DutchNews.nl, Sunday 27 April 2014. Accessed on 28 April 2014.
- Biceberg photo gallery
- Free Wheelin' Archived 2010-01-15 at the Wayback Machine
- Queensland Transport Cycle Network Program: Completed Projects, accessed 11 May 2010.
- Australian Cyclist magazine, accessed 11 May 2010.
- "Annals of Cycling – 55". Price Tags website. Retrieved 27 November 2013.
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