Verkehrs und Tarifverbund Stuttgart (VVS) — the regional public transportation cooperative for Stuttgart, Germany and neighboring regions — are piloting a program encouraging the use of folding bikes with area buses and trains to alleviate bicycle parking congestion in front of train stations and the crowding of train cars with non-folding bicycles. Working with the local bicycle advocacy association, the program will make Tern folding bikes available for transit users at a discounted price.
Stuttgart city officials, the local chapter of ADFC (the German cycling association) and VVS created this program to encourage greater use of bicycles with the city’s public transportation network. The folding bikes will be allowed on VVS public transport without charge, even during peak travel times when bicycles are typically not allowed.
Tern Link D7i bikes for this VVS Faltrad (folding bike) program are available for sale from participating dealers in Stuttgart and other nearby cities. The Tern Link D7i is a low-maintenance, everyday bike that comes fully-equipped with a rear rack, mudguards, dynamo hub and lights, a Shimano Nexus 7-speed internal gear hub, and a special chain cover. The bike folds in only 10 seconds into a compact size for easy carrying and storage on a bus, train, or subway car.
In 2012, Tern partnered with Munich’s transit authority and Italy’s national railway operator in similar programs.
Until very recently, Santa Cruz County, California offered a similar folding bikes on buses program. County residents who took a two hour bicycle safety class could receive a $200 discount on the purchase of any folding bike from a participating Santa Cruz bicycle retailer.
Pasadena, California recently began their own folding bikes on transit program, which offers a $220 discount on folding bikes from Dahon for eligible participants.