Bike Sharing Services
There are three main bike-sharing services operating in FrankfurtRhineMain, Deutsche Bahn’s “Call a Bike” service, Byke, and Nextbike. The “Call a Bike” and nextbike systems use fixed drop-off points, so if you leave the bike somewhere else you are liable to pay a penalty. In all three cases, you register with the service provider, provide credit-card details, and then find your rental bike using an app (or for those without a smartphone by ringing the relevant hotline). Once you have found the bike you want, you either dial the number printed in the red circle on the cover of the lock or scan a QR code. on the bike to unlock it. And off you pedal. Prices vary from € 1 for 20 minutes or 30 minutes, and day passes between € 3-15.
Since the summer of 2019, e-scooters have been permitted on German roads and bike paths. There are already three rental firms operating in FrankfurtRhineMain: Tier, Circ and LimeBike (the brand is denoted by the color of the e-scooter). In each case, you download the relevant app, enter your credit-card details, and then use the app to find an e-scooter near you ready for use. And off you zip, at max. 20 km/h. Typically you pay €1 for the rental, and then a certain rate per kilometer “scooted”. Note: You must not ride on them in tandem! When you’re finished place the e-scooter on the pavement curbside, leaving space for people to get round it, and making certain it is not in a row with more than four others. Local teams pick the e-scooters up at night and recharge them.
Of course, public transport or cycles are not the only way of getting around. The two leading forms of private transport are taxis and private automobiles. Most newcomers may find taxi fares somewhat pricey compared to fares back home. But remember that for that extra money you get to travel in a comfortable late-model Mercedes. The standard starting charge for a taxi is € 3.50, with an additional charge of € 1.75-2.00 per kilometer. Taxi stands are found outside all major rail stations, as well as at major business points such as Alte Oper (Old Opera House), in front of the Börse (Stock Exchange), at Hauptwache or Konstablerwache, and, of course, at the airport. Taxis aren’t supposed to stop on the street to pick up passengers, though some will. Calling to order a cab is much more effective than trying to hail one. Cabs you order by phone will usually arrive within five or ten minutes. Taxi call numbers for Taxi Frankfurt are 069 23 0001 and 069 23 0033.
Determined to help shape the future of urban mobility, Germany’s major carmakers established a car sharing service that is available in most major cities. Car2Go, which is jointly owned by Mercedes-Benz and BMW, offers a variety of small city cars, such as Smarts. Usage is generally calculated on a time basis, starting at 26 cents a minute for the smallest car. Customers must register ahead of time, pay a registration fee and receive an electronic chip by post. Via a smartphone app, they can locate the closest vehicle. When the journey is finished, the user only needs to park and get out. The bill is then sent by email to their phone. There are two other main alternative car-sharing operators in FrankfurtRhineMain which use similar systems: book-n-drive, with a fleet of over 1,000 vehicles and stadtmobil.