Peddling the town’s goods: Bikes join kicksleds in local ridesharing program

bikesharing

There’s a few more rules, but at least you’ll know where to find them – and not have to worry about someone else swiping your ride home while you’re running a quick errand.

Fifteen “citybikes” arrived in Longyearbyen this week and can be borrowed free from Visit Svalbard. Unlike the “kicksledsharing” program the tourism agency started last winter, where the sleds were simply scattered around town and available immediately to anyone – perhaps to the chagrin of a previous borrower who abandoned it for a moment – users must sign for the bikes and are responsible for returning them in good condition.

“This is kind of a trustful program,” said Trine Krystad, who is managing the sustainable transport program. “We will come to an agreement if there is is trouble.”

The bikes, intended for short-term use and not suitable for trails, are available from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily, and come with helmets, reflective vests and locks. Users must agree to accept all safety responsibilities.

Funding for the bikes and kicksleds came from a 200,000-kroner grant from the Svalbard Environmental Protection Fund, with the bikes accounting for about half of that amount, Trine said.