Every year over 400,000 bicycles are stolen and sold in dark alleys in The Netherlands. Within the student communities there is the growing problem that buying stolen bikes has become acceptable. The fact that a student’s budget is much lower, on average, than other residents means they simply cannot afford to keep buying new bikes using traditional and legitimate methods. Therefore, they become stuck in a negative cycle - if one bike gets stolen then a stolen bike is purchased to replace it - and so on. The result is many old and poorly maintained bicycles on the streets and a dubious attitude towards them amongst young cyclists.
Under the name Student-Bike we set up a closed bicycle programme in which free mobility is provided by giving free bikes to the right students. This is done in such a way that we can sell the potential reach of the whole fleet as a media platform through The Bikevertising Company. Each student cyclist gets the right to use one Student-Bike by signing a loan agreement. The Bikevertising Company maintains the bikes and organises fun community activities and an in-app cycle&win game to encourage cycling.
Students no longer have to worry about using stolen or broken bikes and advertisers have a sympathetic and eco-friendly way to show their brand to the world. This mutual benefit creates the success story and represents a great example of a programme in which media, advertising and mobility can have a reinforcing effect on each other. The result for the student is free, carefree and fun mobility.
Students can register themselves for a free bike at student-bike.nl and their contact details and living area will be logged (the Bikevertising Company does not share this information with any third parties). As Student-Bike is dependent on its media sponsors, the decision of who receives a Student-Bike is for the most part based on the area they live in and their patterns of behaviour when cycling.
Student-Bike users receive a free bike plus a Linka smart-lock. They can open their Linka lock through the Student-Bike app. This gives The Bikevertising company the location data and status report from the Student-Bikes so that they are always prepared to maintain the fleet if necessary.
Users can communicate with our service team through the app. The team will come by and fix the problem or if this is not possible they will provide the user with access to a nearby replacement bike.