Bike subscription service Swapfiets expands into Ghent
Swapfiets, a Dutch startup providing bicycles by subscription, is expanding into the Belgian city of Ghent. For a monthly fee of €17.50 (€15 for students), subscribers get a robust, seven-gear bike with double locks. The subscription includes repairs and theft insurance.
If any repair is required – even as minor as a flat tyre or a broken light – a technician will make a house call within 12 hours, either repairing the bike or swapping it against another one. As such, Swapfiets customers are guaranteed the use of a bicycle in perfect working order.
Swapfiets was recently awarded the title of Dutch Startup of the Year. Following successful launches in the Netherlands, and in the Belgian cities of Antwerp and Leuven, the company now boasts a membership of 45,000 customers – making Swapfiets the biggest bicycle subscription service in the world, it claims.
Ghent was a logical next step. The city has reduced car access to its centre, which has helped increase cycling and reduce traffic accidents by 40%, among other benefits.
Swapfiets bikes are easily recognisable by their blue front tyre. The company values sustainability and claims its subscription model will help avoid the abundance of abandoned bikes that may result from free-floating bike-sharing initiatives.