Department International Planning Systems

Master project 2015

Bike Share Systems in a European comparison - "MVFmeinRad" (Mainz) und "VCub" (Bordeaux)

Duration: 22nd April – 15th July 2015 (12 weeks)

Participants: 5 students

Supervisors: Prof. Dr. Karina Pallagst, René Fleschurz

Language: German, literature and interviews partially in French

Since the turn of the millenium, the bike as a urban means to travel experiences a renaissance. Therefore, the offer of public bike sharing systems is growing worldwide. Because of various reasons, France is considered as a pioneer in the European context while Germany in general has a pronounced quotidian culture of bicycling.


In the Master project the students contrasted the bike sharing systems of the German city Mainz and the French city Bordeaux. It was focused on the examples "MVGemeinRad" (Mainz) and "VClub" (Bordeaux) where the country and system specific characteristics of the two bike sharing systems were compared. More in detail, the main emphasis was laid on the system and bicycle related techniques, the user-friendliness and the financing of the bike sharing systems.

The aim of the Master project was to compare the current generation of bike sharing systems, which is characterized by the comprehensive integration into the existing public transport system, in the two case study cities. Besides an analysis of the central country-specific differences and communities, improvement potentials for the long-term strategic orientation of bike sharing systems are developed based on a SWOT analysis.

To reach the aim of the Master project, expert interviews with involved stakeholders and independent exports of bike sharing systems and practical tests were conducted in Mainz and Bordeaux in addition to explorative interviews with the public on the user-friendliness. In the frame of the inductive approach, the chosen systems were analysed and evaluated concerning their commonalities, differences, strengths, weaknesses as well as development perspectives. Based on the SWOT analysis recommendations were developed which relate to concrete development locations on the one hand, and general strategic development options, on the other.

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