RFID Solution for Bikes Bicycle Station Zurich: Ride–and Park!
RFID Solution for Bikes Bicycle Station Zurich:
Ever since the coronavirus pandemic and the energy crisis, if not earlier, the bicycle has become a nearly indispensable means of transportation. Even though it is a vehicle requiring minimal space—a parking slot for a passenger car can accommodate up to eight bicycles!—cyclists struggle to find places to park. That calls for convenient and contemporary parking facilities. A look at Zurich shows how they can be achieved and what matters in that regard going forward. In Zurich, an onMetal RFID label from Schreiner PrinTrust contributes to an innovative bicycle parking project.
Rushing down the ramp, the rider heading fullspeed toward the automatic glass door better stop before it’s too late. Wrong, because the glass door opens precisely upon his arrival, enabled by special wheel-mounted RFID tags from Schreiner PrinTrust that the “Velostation Europaplatz” at Zurich’s Central Train Station uses. “If it were up to our clients, they’d ride their bikes all the way to the tracks,” Michael Leisner, a supervisory board member of abaleo AG, the system’s manufacturer, says with a smile. “Although, unfortunately, that’s not possible, they do appreciate the convenience we offer them.” The RFID label that has been created in collaboration with the experts at Schreiner PrinTrust contributes to that convenience. Its special characteristic is perfect performance even on the metal wheels of bicycles, enabled by the development of special RFID antennas with spacers because normal RFID labels do not work on metal. In addition, the RFID label makes clear identification possible not only for access control but also for electronic billing—in a reliable and contactless process. Every single label is personalized and clearly identifiable for this purpose. “About 90 percent of our clients are subscribers and long-term parkers. Obviously, not having to rummage around for cash is important for them,” explains Leisner. The subscription system is flexible and can be cancelled at any time.
Full-Service Package for Bikers
Michael Leisner can readily explain why people pay for parking their bicycles even though free parking in public places is available as well: “E-bikes have become increasingly important not only in Germany but also in Switzerland, and you don’t just park a valuable bike at the next corner of the street! So, clients not only appreciate having a convenient place for parking their bikes but, above all, one that is secure and guarded!” The possibility to charge bikes at the bike station makes the facility even more attractive. The bicycle workshop integrated in the parking station is another benefit, and many bike riders take advantage of the service allowing them to drop off their bike in the morning and pick it up again in good repair at night. Moreover, the 1,600 parking slots are well-illuminated and provide direct access to the tracks of the Zurich Central Station.
A Space-Saver with Untapped Potential
There is cross-border agreement that the bicycle is a key element in the mobility transition journey. Especially as a means of transportation for commuters on the way to the train station, bicycles could provide relief for congested streets and roads. The member of abaleo’s supervisory board speaks from experience: The Swiss metropolis is flat in many areas, which basically makes for a biker’s paradise, but, in reality, that’s not the case. Aside from the tussle on the streets, the competition for parking places is a key issue. That’s why Leisner advocates establishing modern parking places near transportation hubs because convenient and secure bicycle parking garages are still few and far between. “That’s clearly an area with growth potential,” says Leisner, “and now is exactly the right time to act on it! I’m happy that we’ve already embarked on that journey together with Schreiner PrinTrust, and therefore making a small contribution to mobility of the future!” He would like to see more cities following Zurich’s example and for drivers and riders to work with rather than against each other when it comes to parking.