In a fresh take on bike-sharing, network of local cafes started a program for historic district.

A group of cafes in Brno, the Czech Republic’s second-largest city, has begun offering a sort of micro Citibike program to patrons. Buy a cup of coffee and, with a 300 Crown ($16 USD) deposit, they’ll lend you a bike. Simply return the bike by end of day to any of the five participating shops.

The program isn’t exactly built for commuters. You wouldn’t be able to grab a coffee to-go, hop on a bike, and ride to work — and not just because you might lose half your drink on the way over. Rather, Brno’s model encourages customer loyalty and community support of small business. Patrons might enjoy a nice breakfast before borrowing one of the cafe’s red folding bikes and taking a leisurely ride around town or running a couple errands. However, Brno’s success proves that bike-sharing can be a local enterprise, too, not just for big names like Citibank and big cities like New York or DC.

This content is available for Premium Subscribers only.
Already a subscriber? Log in