Two weeks ago Green Prophet decided it was high time to put Tel Aviv’s bicycle sharing program to the test, since we are such fervent advocates of cycling. We hired two bicycles from a station at the corner of Ehrlich and Yefet streets in Jaffa, a predominantly Arab neighborhood just south of Tel Aviv, but only after struggling for more than half an hour to get them on the road.
We didn’t have a camera with us at the time, so we invited Tel Aviv native Daniel to join us at the same station about two weeks later in order to put the system to the test again. His experience was much better than ours. Hit the jump to watch our small video clip of Daniel hiring a Tel-o-Fun bicycle and find out how his experience compared with ours.
When we hired bicycles from the Ehrlich/Yefet bike station two weeks ago, many of the bicycles in the bay didn’t show up on the screen, at least one was registered as faulty, and we got two bikes with broken gears. After toiling under the hot sun for about 35 minutes, we were finally able to extract two functioning bicycles.
Once successful, we had a wonderful time touring Jaffa port, a bicycle path astride the sparkling Mediterranean Sea, Shouq Ha’Carmel, Neve Tzedek, and Rothschild Avenue – the scene of last year’s social protests.
It cost roughly $6 per person to ride the bicycles for about two hours. The first half hour is free, but it’s necessary to pay a daily subscription fee.
We recommend Tel-o-Fun for tourists who want to get from point A to point B, but we’re not convinced this is the most affordable option for residents of the city who would be better off buying a decent secondhand bicycle instead.
Daniel’s experience of Tel-o-Fun was a lot better than ours.
What took us 35 minutes took him no more than ten, and the first bike he pulled from the bay was in good working order.
He agreed that the subscription price of NIS 14 per day combined with rental fees is a bit high, although it is lower for people who purchase long-term subscriptions.
We invite readers who have hired a Tel-o-Fun bicycle to weigh in: what was your experience? Did you find the system user-friendly? Do you think it’s affordable?