If you live or have ever been to Gothenburg, it’s likely that you’ve seen the Styr och Ställ blue bikes. It seems that a lot of people know they exist, but haven’t looked into how it works. It surprises me because it’s such a fantastic way to get around the city. I thought I would share some information about the service so more people know how it works.
About Styr och Ställ
Styr och Ställ is a bike-sharing program that was introduced to Gothenburg in August 2010. There are around 1000 bikes distributed across 60 bike stations in central Gothenburg.
Types of Subscriptions
In order to use the bikes, you’ll need a subscription to the program. There are two different types of subscriptions: Seasonal and 3-day pass.
A seasonal pass is valid from March 1 until December 31 of that year and costs 75 kr. With a season card, it means you can rent a bike as often as you wish during the season. There are two ways to get this pass. You can either purchase a new Styr och Ställ plastic card which costs another 150 kr which would be mailed to your home address, or you can load your membership onto your Västtrafikkort, which is what I’ve done and I think this is the most convenient.
A 3-day pass costs 25 kr and is valid for… you guessed it, 3 days. You can actually purchase these memberships right at a bike station so you don’t even have to plan in advance. This is perfect for tourists and I always recommend this to friends who come and visit as it’s a great way to see the city.
How it works
Once you get a membership, it’s pretty simple. You just go up to one of the 60 bike stations and blip your card. Once you put in your PIN, you just choose a bike you want to unlock and take the bike out! The first half-hour is free of charge and then there are some additional costs if your ride exceeds 30 minutes.
Cost of the service
First half-hour : Free of charge
Second half-hour : 10 SEK
Third half-hour : 20 SEK
Every extra half-hour : 40 SEK
Once you’re done with your trip you can return the bike to any bike station with available stands. If there are no available stands, you can use the terminal to locate a nearby station and the terminal will give you 15 minutes free of charge to get there, but I’ve never had a problem finding an available bike station in time. There are also a few apps you can download to find out how many bikes and available bike stands are at a station. They open-source the data so anyone can make an app using this info.
I personally use an app called iStyr, but I know there are other apps like Styr Ställ, StyrHit and AllBikesNow that have this information.
The 30-Minute Rule
Some people get a bit nervous about the 30-minute rule but I have purchased the season card twice and have never had a ride go over 30 minutes. Even if you do, the prices are reasonable! According to their website, in 30 minutes you can ride about 7 km and you can get quite far in that time. All of the bike stations are within 300-500 meters so it’s not ever too far from another station.
You’re not limited by the number of trips in a day either:
The first half hour of every ride is always free, regardless of the number of trips per day. You can borrow the bike 46 times in one day, completely free as long as each bike ride does not exceed 30 minutes.
I think a Styr och Ställ membership is an incredible deal and more people should take advantage of this. Even if you have your own bike or a monthly Västtrafik card, it provides more flexibility in your life and I find the bikes themselves quite comfortable and fun. I just wish the service expanded into more areas of Gothenburg and not just in the centre. I use it almost on a daily basis and would love to see more people using it too! Please note I have no association with Styr och Ställ, I’m just a fan!
Find out more information about Styr och Ställ.
Written by Joanne Lau
My name is Joanne and I’m a Canadian Interaction/UX Designer who moved to Sweden at the end of 2016. I’m really enjoying living in Sweden and am borderline obsessed with learning Swedish. When I’m not in sketching, designing or trying out the latest gadget, you’ll find me taking photos, climbing rocks or reading with a cup of tea. You are welcome to visit me over at my blog.