Tel Aviv planning Boris bikes scheme

By Paul Berger, August 26, 2010

First came Boris's Bikes in London. Now Tel Aviv wants a piece of the wheely action. Next year, the Mediterranean city will unveil a citywide bike rental scheme for residents and tourists.

Moshe Tiomkin, head of Tel Aviv's Transport and Parking Authority, said that 1,500 bikes will be available at 150 bicycle stations around the city.

Bike hire will cost about £2.50 a day, less for people with a Tel Aviv resident ID.

Tel Aviv now has 65 miles of bike lanes. Mr Tiomkin said the city council had spent between £1.4 million and £2.4 million annually on cycling initiatives during the past decade.

He said that the city provided perfect conditions for riding.

"It's flat, the distances between places are short, and most of the year the weather is friendly."

There is a general rise in cycling's popularity throughout Israel.

Oded Friedman, executive director of bike importer OR Cycling, said that every weekend Israelis could be found cycling at numerous beauty spots, a short drive from major cities.

The one drawback to cycling in Israel is the country's motorists.

Mr Friedman, who cycles from Tel Aviv to his office in Netanya once a week, avoids the main roads. "Driving in Israel is a competition," he said. "So obviously you would not want to ride on the road. It's dangerous."

Small wonder then that the majority of bike paths in Tel Aviv are off-road.Most riders prefer to ride on the pavement whenever possible.

Last updated: 1:55pm, August 26 2010