Through Israel Railways, the Ministry of Transport today published a tender for robot-assisted bicycle parking lots at railway stations as part of a pilot initiative by Minister of Transport and Intelligence Yisrael Katz. The pilot is aimed at encouraging passengers to use bicycles to reach railway stations without putting the bikes on the trains.
Putting bicycles into railway carriages sometimes affects passenger service on the trains and prevents people with disabilities from using trains, because bicycle riders usually put their bicycles on the carriage accessible to the disabled, causing train delays and difficulty in meeting timetables.
Robot-assisted bicycle parking lots exist in European countries, such as Germany, the Czech Republic, Spain, and the Netherlands. The use of robots facilitates optimal use of the space in the parking lot, prevents theft of and damage to bicycles, and facilitates rapid use of the parking lots without any human staff.
The franchise holders winning the tender will be responsible for building and operating the robot-assisted parking lots. Four parking lots, both elevated and underground, will be built in different places in Israel in the first stage: one underground parking lot each at the Savidor railway station in Tel Aviv and the Herzliya railway station and one elevated parking lot each in the Netanya and northern Beersheva railways stations.
Publication of the tender results is scheduled for early 2019. Construction of the elevated robot-assisted bicycle parking lots is to take a few weeks, while the underground parking lots depend on either existing or new infrastructure, and construction time is therefore not predetermined and will vary from one station to another.
The elevated robot-assisted parking lot can store up to 150 bicycles, while the underground parking lot can store over 200. Parking a bicycle on the robot-assisted parking lots will take only 15-20 seconds. Use of the lots will be through a special app, a website, or telephone customer service.
Bicycle owners will be identified through a personal transportation card or credit card. Cameras installed in the parking lots will document the deposit and release of the bicycles. Sensors will record the bicycles' dimensions and issue alerts of any possible disruption.
Katz said that the venture was designed to make the railway accessible to bicycle riders. He added that if the pilot is successful, the Ministry of Transport would publish tenders to build robot-assisted parking lots at other railway stations around Israel.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on September 4, 2018
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