The combination of bicycle and public transport is to undergo a major expansion plan in the Cycle Competence member province Vorarlberg. The goal of the federal railways ÖBB, the province of Vorarlberg, municipalities and the transport association is very ambitious: Step by step several train stations in Vorarlberg are to be equipped with the new VMOBIL bicycle boxes. The first stations will be Rankweil and Hohenems. Increasing the number of bicycle boxes is seen as the starting signal for province-wide standardised system of lockable bicycle parking facilities. These can be booked from everywhere via the VMOBIL card.
The VMOBIL bicycle boxes
VMOBIL bicycle boxes are closed parking spaces for bicycles protection from vandalism, thievery and the weather as well as possible. After a one-time registration the bicycle box at the desired location can be booked online. All VMOBIL bicycle boxes are furnished with a secure lock, interior lighting and a shelf as well as coat hooks. All ground level bicycle boxes have a loading station for e-bikes. In the booked period uncomplicated access is granted with the VMOBIL Card (VVV annual pass) or the code received via e-mail.
So far there were 600 bicycle boxes in Vorarlberg at 25 train stations maintained by 25 municipalities. But there was no overall planning or design. The quality of the bicycle parking spaces differs greatly and so far the municipalities had to come up with the funding alone. In the mobility concept Vorarlberg 2019 as well as in the cycle traffic strategy “Kettenreaktion” (chain reaction), the province of Vorarlberg has set the goal of creating a high-quality public transport and cycle traffic network with attractive hubs. One of these measures is the increase of VMOBIL bicycle boxes.
Following the extension of the network to Rankweil and Hohenems, Lauterach, Lustenau and Schlins-Beschling are to follow suit. After that further VMOBIL bicycle boxes are planned – as part of station refurbishments – in Altach, Lochau-Hörbranz, Ludesch, Feldkirch and Hard-Fußbach.
New VMOBIL bicycle boxes complete first VMOBIL station
At the end of September, the opening of the 52 new lockable VMOBIL Radboxen rendered the train station in Rankweil the first complete VMOBIL station In Vorarlberg. There, passenger can change uncomplicated and fast between train, bus, bicycle or e-car sharing.
The expansion of the bicycle box offer in Rankweil is seen as the starting signal for a province-wide unified system of lockable bicycle parking facilities easily and comfortably accessible for users. Apart from Rankweil also the municipality of Lustenau and the town of Hohenems are starting the pilot project VMOBIL mobility hub. “Our aim is to create a mix of mobility offerings allowing customers to travel from door to door in a simple, fast and uncomplicated fashion. For this cycle traffic and public transport provide a dream coupling perfectly complementing each other in their strengths. The province-wide unique system of VMOBIL Radboxen means customers in all of Vorarlberg can use the same type of bicycle boxes which can be booked via the same online portal everywhere”, said Smart Mobility representative Verena Seethaler-Steidl. The new VMOBIL bicycle boxes are integrated into the VMOBIL Card and as such part of the multi-modal system bus, train and car sharing.
The project is partly funded by the Federal Ministry for Climate Protection, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology (BMK). It is handled by the train track infrastructure service company (SCHIG mbH) as part of the programme “E-Mobility für alle: Urbane Elektromobilität”.