The OBIS (Optimising Bike Sharing in European Cities) project was set up in 2007 when projects in Barcelona and Paris proved to be successful. European funding was provided for research, with the cooperation of 15 partners in nine countries. The technical set-up of the various systems is discussed, but the authors also focus on the characteristics of the various cities where rental bike projects are – successfully – in operation. This culminates in tips on how to start a project. The first step should be formulating the aims and objectives (what and for whom?). Next the study recommends setting up a Taskforce with the necessary organisational and technical know-how. And experience has taught: Get it right the first time. Small pilot projects with few stations are often inclined to fail.
Attention is also paid to counter-arguments that may be put forward, such as ‘People cycle much anyway’ and ‘Isn’t cycling dangerous? The study can be downloaded free of charge.