Thanks to Tel-O-Fun, now Tel Aviv urbanites with the tiniest of apartments can bike around without the storage hassle.
Despite widespread announcements that it would open its city-wide bike sharing service in April, Tel Aviv’s Tel-O-Fun finally got kick started in May (but, to its credit, in a bigger way than originally intended). 150 stations and 1500 bikes were made available for shared use by the public earlier this month in an effort to encourage the already growing trend of cycling in Tel Aviv. (Biking has become such a popular mode of transportation that some cafes offer free bike rentals alongside delicious coffee.)
The service brings an almost kibbutz-like attitude to pedaling – users pick up bikes when they want them and where they want them, and drop them off as soon as they’re done with the idea being that the bikes should be readily available for anyone and everyone.
With Tel-O-Fun still very new, though, the service isn’t as easy to use yet as it hopefully will be. Only annual subscribers to the service can currently use the bikes, but the daily and weekly subscriptions are set to open soon as well.
It is also doesn’t look as safe right now as it hopefully will turn out to be. Tel-O-Fun supplies bikes (some of which are even equipped with kids’ seats), but not helmets. The service offers helmets for personal purchase through its website, to be delivered by mail, but daily and weekly users who want to pick up a bike on a whim and go will not have helmets available to them at the Tel-O-Fun stations.
These issues aside, it is yet to be seen if Tel Avivians are going to go for the bike-sharing thing the way that people in European cities such as Paris, Barcelona, and London have.
In the two weeks since the service went live, this Green Prophet has only seen one person on a Tel-O-Fun bike. Admittedly, I’m a little wary to try it myself until the daily and weekly subscriptions become available. But once they do, I have a feeling that more people are going to be riding around on those (appropriately colored) green bikes.
Read more about cycling and bike sharing in Tel Aviv::
Doha and Tel Aviv Launch Two-Wheel Options for Urban Transportation
Cicleta Sprint Bicycle Messengers Take Over Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv Cafes Offer Great Cappuccinos and Free Bike Rentals
Image via: Victor Bezrukov