Does the Nextbike Scheme Work in Cardiff?

Nextbikes have some technical problems that lead to lots of bikes can’t be “unlocked” in Cardiff.

There are 81 Nextbike stations in Cardiff

The recent data shows that there are more than 500,000 rides across Cardiff using nextbikes since the scheme began in Cardiff last May. However, does the scheme work really well in Cardiff? What problems do riders meet when they are using them? Here are voices from some local bike riders:

Jake, 18, Chef

“Nextbikes are great for they designed to be, they are not designed to be fast, but they are reliable. I know they’ve had some problems with their new software but apart from that is all fine. It’s quite cheap as well, which is a fast convenient for students. If you use a nextbike, your subscriptions are just for 60 pounds a year, rather than roughly pay 150 pounds for a new bike, and you don’t have to worry about bike stolen stuff ever again.”

Nicolo, 26, Student

“In the beginning, the service was bad, and then they improved a little bit. I have some troubles returning some bicycles, and the returning system wasn’t going well. And sometimes I see there were bikes available on the app when I reached bikes, none of the bikes can be rented. There are here, but if you scan them, bikes are unavailable for you, and you don’t know the reason.”

Himanshi, 23, Students

“I do meet problems when I used it, but they are really good at its customers’ service. So, if I have any problems, I can give them a free call with their number, and it roughly takes 5 minutes or even less with them to solve the issue.”

Cheryl Williams, 45, public health officer

“I’m having lots of problems using nextbike today because the system isn’t working, but normally it’s quite good. It’s a good system when it works. This bike looks free, but I keep getting the message that this bike is already taken trying another one but clearly it’s not. I don’t know what’s going on with it today.”

Chris Wilks, 32, Town planner

“It’s truly convenient. We just tired and quick to get home, there is a station next to our house, so we can cycle from the city centre to home and just leave the bike. But the technology isn’t very (well), sometimes it doesn’t return the bike very properly, so it will charge you loads of money, and then you have to phone them up and get a refund. I think we are having some problems now, and it’s not great.”

Pruetha Tantasaner, 35, student

“It’s free for university students for the first 30 minutes (riding). But there are some problems I met that sometimes there are many bicycles I cannot rent it. Maybe they don’t have signals? I don’t know what’s wrong with it.”

Ahad Sheikh, 24, Architect

“I never used nextbikes before, and I use my own bike (in Cardiff). I came from London, so I used the bike we have there, we have the JUMP Bikes by Uber. Those (shared) bikes are placed randomly, so sometimes it’s hard to find a nearby station to put them when you have done your journey. But if you use your own bike, you can leave it wherever you want.”