Zurich

The independent city guide to Zurich

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Zurich recently experienced a war… the war of the rental bikes. For years Zurich stood out as one of the few major European cities lacking an easy bike rental system with pick-up and drop off stations. Then last summer the Singapore-based company Obike flooded the city with cheap, poor-quality bikes as part of its free-floating rental system. You could locate, book and pick up the bikes via an app on your smartphone and park it nearly anywhere.

The city was blindsided, as the bikes weren’t given official approval. In fact, the authorities weren’t even consulted. Only weeks later, another company called Lime, which had the same business model, entered the market. But the Californian enterprise had better bikes and no deposit was required. Thus, the battle began. Then Zürivelo - Publibike, the system licensed by the city, launched its high-quality bikes this spring, but only at fixed locations.

Soon after that, the war claimed its first victims. Obike ceased its operations in Zurich and soon after the Singapore firm went bankrupt. It left hundreds of useless one-gear bikes in its wake, a local company drowning in debt and hundreds, if not thousands, of customers who had paid a 129Sfr deposit high and dry.

But as in every war, there were also winners and this time it’s actually you! It has never been easier or more convenient to rent a bike and explore the city, so enjoy!

Read the latest in our Switzerland In Your Pocket Blog -> http://blog.inyourpocket.com/switzerland

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