In recent years, the market for public bicycle rental systems has grown significantly. As an additional service provided by the public transport network, a bicycle rental system is a practical solution which helps meet the challenges posed by modern mobility and environmental protection.
Leinemann Partner is supporting this development at the side of one of the biggest German competitors in this field, the internationally active nextbike GmbH from Leipzig. The nextbike GmbH company, with the support of Leinemann, was able to prevail in the procurement process of the bicycle rental system in Berlin in 2016 against strong competition from Deutsche Bahn. A subsidiary of Deutsche Bahn, DB Rent GmbH, initiated procurement review proceedings, but were unsuccessful in the first instance. An immediate further appeal against the decision of the procurement chamber was lodged but later withdrawn. Since then the nextbike bicycles have become part of the traffic scene in Berlin. Ralf Kalupner (CEO nextbike GmbH) on the Leinemann team: »I was won over by the short reaction times and the practical legal advice we received.« The legal advice was not limited to just the procurement procedure, but also covered a number of strategic elements. According to media reports, low-budget suppliers have flooded cities in the unregulated Asian market with thousands of rental bicycles where they are »abandoned«. In some cities the bicycles are stacked on public roads, are no longer usable and have to be removed by the public authorities. This kind of scenario could also occur in Germany and Europe. There are already the first reports of similar effects and the financially strong competition from the Far East has not sought to conceal its plans for expansion. Therefore intelligent solutions should be implemented quickly to meet this uncontrolled growth which could bring the entire industry into disrepute. It may well be that according to current legislation that the setting up of a rental bicycle organisation is in principle covered by the so-called public use of roadspace. However, when there are significant disruptions to other road users due to the high volume of bicycles introduced, the status changes to a special use which is then subject to authorisation. In this respect cities have to react at an early stage in order to avoid chaotic conditions.