The concept is far from unique in Europe(London’s Boris Bikes spring instantly to mind) but the implementation in a compact city such as Oslo is spot on.
Unlike pretty much everything else in Oslo, the city bike scheme is fantastic value for money. Let me say that again, but bolder.
The city bike scheme is fantastic value for money.
Much better! A quick glance on the web shows hiring a city bike in London costs £45 a year, plus a fee for each use. The Oslo system costs just 90 kroner (£10 GBP) to join, which gives you free access to city bikes all through the season for up to three hours at a time. That’s more than enough time to explore the many areas of Oslo.
Despite Oslo’s compact size, bikes are available from over 100 stands. They are a frequent sight across the city centre but are also available widely around Ring 2 (Majorstuen, St Hanshaugen, Tøyen) and even on the Bygdøy peninsular.
This google map gives you a great idea of the coverage:
View Oslo Bysykkel in a larger map
They are used extensively by commuters, as a great alternative for short journeys into the city centre from popular residential areas such as Tøyen or Majorstuen.
A warning for tourists!
Although the tourist information website mentions the City Bikes, they do come at a significant cost. A tourist can rent a bike card for 80 kroner per day. You do the math! If you are staying in Oslo for a reasonable length of time and you need transport, you will be better served paying 75 kroner per day for unlimited use of buses, trains, trams and the metro instead (unless you know a local that can register a card for you, as you need a local address to receive one)
Aside from this annoyance, if you’re a resident or a long-term visitor to Oslo, signing up for the Oslo Bysykkel is a no-brainer! What do you think? Have you used city bikes? Do you use them every day? Let us know – leave a comment below!
Note, the same company also run city bike schemes in Drammen and Trondheim.