Tight

Oslo City Bike

Bike sharing by the push of a button

Is it possible for the tiniest of teams to create a world-class city bike system in 3 months? That was the question our client asked us, and if you’ve been to Oslo lately, you have surely seen the answer in action.

Bike sharing became a thing in Oslo back in 2002, and gained somewhat of a cult status over the years. In 2016 a new operator took over, with the ambition of bringing bike sharing to the masses. New stations, new bikes, more cities, and most importantly for us: a truly digital experience to replace plastic cards.

«Unlock a city bike with an app.» That was the brief in a nutshell. Launch day was only 3 months away when we started working on the app, and failure was not an option. Articles about the grand opening had already started circulating in national media. No pressure 😅

Ready, set, go!

The first quarter of 2016 became a hectic yet fun time. We had cleared our calendar, and holed up in our office to work on one project only. In the span of three months, we designed and developed their digital system: API, web shop, product website, internal systems, and of course – the app for unlocking bikes.

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Go for a ride: When you are close to a station, you will be able to unlock a bike.

Proper bike stations did not exist until right before opening, so most of the testing had to be done with a make shift setup in our office. We honestly did not know what to expect for the launch. On a nerve-wracking April 4th, the season opened and Oslo filled up with blue bikes. Crazy times, and a huge win for everyone involved!

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Trifecta: The essential screens for biking – map view, your stations and trip history.
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Riding: When a bike is picked up, we clearly indicate that you are on a trip with the blue color.
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Complete profile: New users get to set up their profile in a quick and friendly fashion.
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In layman terms: We got to the point and turned the terms of service into easy to understand language.

As the season progressed, we kept improving the service with new features like developer pages and a web shop for businesses.

Did it work?

The reception blew us away. People love the new Oslo City Bike, and by the end of the 2016 season over 2 million bike rides had been completed – double the amount of the year before! As the 2017 season is coming to a close, the trip count this year has surpassed 2,6 million. The system has also been brought to the city of Bergen, running on the same software we made back in 2016.

We’re really thankful for the chance to contribute to the city in this way, and immensely proud of what it accomplished. Seeing the app in use every day – and even be able to partake in the fun ourselves – is a feeling it is hard to beat 😎

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A couple of city bikers outside our office. Photo: Åsmund Holien Mo
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Photo: Åsmund Holien Mo