PubliBike
Belpstrasse 37
3030 Bern

Q&A

Questions and answers

Here is where you will find answers for frequently asked questions about PubliBike.

Select one of the following categories:

  1. General
  2. Registration : password / security
  3. Order: PubliBike card / membership
  4. Payment / invoices
  5. Rent 
  6. Ride
  7. Return

If you can’t find an answer to your question, please contact us directly.

 

1. General

1.1       What can I expect from this service?

PubliBike is a bike-sharing scheme for renting bikes and, on certain networks, e-bikes. There are stations throughout Switzerland where you can rent bikes and e-bikes around the clock. The service is intended for short-term rental (24 hours maximum). If you wish to rent a bike for a longer time period, we recommend the services of our partner Rent a Bike.

 

1.2       Do general terms and conditions apply to the service?

Yes. The general terms and conditions can be consulted at the terminal (stations with a touch screen) or downloaded online under Terms and Conditions . They form the legal basis of the contractual relationship.

 

1.3       Is the service available all year round / until what time are bikes available?

Yes, the service is available all year round, seven days a week, 24 hours a day (except stations managed by staff at Renens railway station and Place de l’Europe in Lausanne). The opening times of these two stations are specified on the relevant totems and on our Internet site under Points of sale

1.4       Who can use PubliBike / what is the minimum age for using the service?

The minimum age for using the service is 16. Minors using the service (16-18 year olds) must be registered by their legal guardian and remain under their responsibility. Similarly, day passes for minors may only be purchased by their legal guardian. In general, the bikes available for rental are intended for adults and are not suitable for children.

 

1.5       What type of bikes are available?

The bikes provided are intended for adults and have a rear basket and adjustable saddle. PubliBike does not provide bikes for children or seats for transporting children. E-bikes are also available on some networks. This is specified in the PubliBike application for smartphones or on our internet site under Networks.

 

1.6       Can I reserve a bike? 

No, it is not possible to reserve a bike in advance.

 

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2. Registration: password / security

2.1       Is the registration mandatory?

Yes, your user-account allows you to change your particulars, view the details of your customer card, your journeys and your bills.

 

2.2       Is a secure Internet connection used for online registration?

Yes, https connections are used to transfer data. All the registration information sent to us is encrypted. All the information provided is also subject to data protection regulations (also see General Terms and Conditions).

 

2.3       Why do I have to give my age?

According to the legal regulations, the minimum age for renting a bike is 16. Minors using the service (16-18 year olds) must be registered by their legal guardian and remain under their responsibility. Similarly, day passes for minors may only be purchased by their legal guardian. In general, the bikes available for rental are intended for adults and are not suitable for children.

 

2.4       I am asked for a PIN code to register. What is it?

A PIN code is required to rent a bike from a station equipped with a touchscreen. You can choose your own 4 to 8 digit combination.

 

2.5       How do I change my PIN code?

You can change your PIN code in your account under "Login" tab.

 

2.6       Is the system case-sensitive?

Yes. The system is case-sensitive. Please remember this when you enter your password.

 

2.7       I have a Mobility car sharing card, a Cornèrcard or a tl Mobilis card and I want to register with PubliBike and save CHF 10. What do I have to do?

Holders of any of these cards can register for the PubliBike service and rent bikes using the same card, saving the CHF 10 fee normally charged for new registrations. Simply state which card you hold on the online form Shop select the type of card and enter the card number.

 

2.8       How can I change my personal information?

Registered users can change information by accessing their account on the "Login" tab  or by sending an e-mail to contact@publibike.ch.

 

2.9       I have forgotten my password or my user name. What should I do?

Go to  "Login" , then on "Forgotten your user name or password?" Follow the instructions shown.

 

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3. Order: PubliBike card / membership

3.1       Once I have applied for membership, how long will it take before I can access the service?

You will receive your PubliBike card within five days. If you have not received your card after five days, this may be due to the following reasons:

  • We were unable to debit the registration fee
  • The address information entered in the system is incorrect

If your card has not arrived after a week, please contact customer service at contact@publibike.ch or by calling 0848 09 08 07 and we will check the delivery status of your card.

 

3.2       What should I do if my PubliBike card gets lost, stolen or damaged?

Contact customer service as quickly as possible on 0848 09 08 07 to block your card to prevent fraudulent use and to obtain a new card, for which you will be charged CHF 10.

 

3.3       Am I allowed to lend my PubliBike to somebody else?

No, your card is associated with a single member and is not transferable.

 

3.4       Is the DayBike valid in all the networks?

The DayBike is valid for 24h in the networks of system II (a and b). In the networks of system I the DayBike is only valid for the network it was purchased in. The DayBike is available at numerous sales points. The list of points of purchase can be found directly on the totem, on our list of sales points  or via the PubliBike smartphone application.

 

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4. Payment / invoices

4.1        How do I pay for bike rental?

When you register as a member, you can select your preferred method of payment. Registered customers currently have the following options:

  • Post card
  • Credit card (MasterCard and Visa)

Other payment options (such as by bank account or on receipt of invoice) are not available.

 

4.2        How can I change the method of payment?

If you wish to change the method of payment but your credit- or postfinance-card is still the actual method of payment, contact the customer service 0848 09 08 07 or contact@publibike.ch in order disable that your card is automatically charged. As soon as a new invoice is generated, login to your user-account, change the method of payment and settle the bill manually.

In case where your credit- or postfinance-card is no longer valid, your bill can not be settled automatically and appears in your user-account as “open bill”. Enter the new method of payment or carddetails and settle the bill manually.

 

4.3        When will I be charged?

Charges are debited every three months (as of month-end) or when an amount of CHF 20 is reached. On your account or credit card statement the charges will be identified by the word “PubliBike”. 

 

4.4        How can I check that the charges are correct?

You can check charges directly in your account under "My invoices" by clicking on "Login".

 

4.5        Can the same account number or credit card be used to pay for multiple PubliBike cards?

Yes, this is possible with the consent of the card or account holder.

 

4.6        There is a mistake on an invoice I have received. What should I do?

If the rental duration you have been charged for appears to be too long, this is probably due to the fact that the bike wasn’t returned properly. When returning a bike, wait for the green light to flash. This confirms that the bike has been correctly returned to the docking station.

Report any mistakes you find directly to customer service at contact@publibike.ch. Please note that you are responsible for all charges that are triggered by your PubliBike card (also see General Terms and Conditions). 

 

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5. Rent

5.1       I am not a registered user, but would like to hire a bike. What should I do?

On some networks, you can purchase a DayBike valid for 24 hours from all our points of purchase. The list of points of purchase can be found directly on the totem, on our list of sales points  or via the PubliBike smartphone application.

 

5.2       Do I only benefit from 30 minutes of free use the first time I use my card?

The first 30 minutes of use are always free for members every time they rent a bike. You are only charged if you rent a bike for longer than half an hour (from the 31st minute).

 

5.3       Can I rent multiple bikes at the same time with one PubliBike card / one credit card?

No, only one bike can be rented with each PubliBike card.

 

5.4       Where do I find a list of the PubliBike stations within a region?

A plan/list at the terminal or on the totem will show you where the other PubliBike stations are located. A list can also be found under network or via the PubliBike smartphone application. The application is available for the iOS (iPhone) operating systems.

 

5.5       What should I do if there are no more bikes available at a PubliBike station?

Go to the nearest station. A plan/list at the terminal or on the totem will show you where the nearest PubliBike stations are located. Before you go to another station, you can also check bike availability at any time on the site of network or via the PubliBike smartphone application. The GPS function will direct you to the closest station where bikes are available. It is strictly forbidden to leave a non-secured bike next to a station.

 

5.6       How do I remove a bike from a docking station?

You will find instructions on picking up bikes on our Internet site here.

 

5.7       The terminal /screen / RFID reader is defective or fails to respond. What should I do?

Please contact customer service on 0848 09 08 07.

 

5.8       I entered an incorrect PIN three times and my card is blocked. What should I do?

After entering an incorrect PIN three times, your card is blocked. Call customer service on 0848 09 08 07.

 

5.9       I have forgotten my PIN, what should I do?

You can change your PIN by clickign on "Login" under "My cards". Alternatively, you can ask for your PIN to be sent to the terminal (touch screen) via your e-mail address. Identify yourself directly on the terminal using your card and enter a random four to eight digit sequence. Follow the instructions shown. You can also contact customer service on 0848 09 08 07 to be reminded of your PIN.

 

5.10    I would like to rent a bike but it is stuck in the slot. What should I do?

Stations with touchscreen
Push the bike firmly into the slot. If the yellow light flashes, please wait. As soon as the green light starts flashing, you can remove the bike. 

Stations without touchscreen
First, check whether the docking station in question is working (green light). If the light is red, the docking station is out of order. Try another docking station. Make sure you are following the correct procedure. Do not try and remove the bike immediately after presenting your card. Wait until the beeping sound speeds up (you should also be able to hear the lock opening), then pull firmly to remove the bike from the slot.

If the problem persists, try another docking station. If it is still impossible to remove the bike, please contact customer service on 0848 09 08 07.

 

5.11    My card is not accepted, what should I do?

There may be several reasons for this:

Transaction in progress
Your card is not accepted because a transaction may still be in progress. Last time you returned a rented bike, perhaps you did not secure it properly. As you can only rent one bike at a time, you are not allowed to pick up another one. 

Unpaid invoice
Your card may have been blocked because you have an unpaid invoice. You can consult your invoices in your personal area by clickin on "Login" under "My invoices" and pay any unpaid invoices. As soon as the payment has been made, your card will be unblocked. 

Membership expired
Your membership may have expired. You can renew your membership by clicking on "Login". 

Expiry date
Please check the expiry date of your credit card or PubliBike card. 

Geographical validity
Perhaps you are trying to rent a bike in a network not included in your regional membership.

For Swiss Post staff
Have you received a new personal card in the course of the year or have you recently started working on a site offering the PubliBike service? Staff data are not updated automatically. We have to enter your personal details manually. Please be patient and we will send you an e-mail as soon as you can take advantage of the service. In the meantime, you can borrow a PubliBike card from reception and use it to rent a bike.

Mobilis or Mobility card
If you have received a new Mobilis or Mobility card, please contact customer service at contact@publibike.ch or by calling 0848 09 08 07 so that we can enter your new card in the system manually.

Please contact customer service on 0848 09 08 07 or write to contact@publibike.ch to clarify why your card is not being accepted.

 

5.12    What do I have to pay particular attention to when I rent an e-bike?

First, check the level of the battery charge. How long you can use the electric pedalling assistance will of course depend on the route you take. At low temperatures (< 5°C), the battery may have difficulty charging. In this case, it is advisable to use a normal bike.

At stations with a touch screen, the level of the battery charge is displayed on the terminal (touch screen) under the choice of bikes. Before setting off, you must switch on the electric pedalling assistance. To do so, press the on/off switch near the left handlebar. 

At stations with a totem, detailed instructions can be found in the basket of each e-bike. You must press the on/off switch under the luggage rack. If the indicator light displays no bars or only one bar, the bike is not sufficiently charged and must not be removed. If the indicator light displays between two and five bars, you can rent the bike.

 

5.13    I have noticed damage to the bike. How do I report it?

At stations with a touchscreen, you can report the damage directly at the terminal. Return the bike to the docking station and identify yourself again. Select "Menu – Report a fault – Bike selection – Specify the damage category".

Alternatively you can contact customer service on 0848 09 08 07. Our technicians will then be informed that the bike in question needs to be repaired.

 

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6. Ride

6.1       How long can I rent a bike for?

The rental period is restricted to 24 consecutive hours. After this period, the bike is considered lost. Please note that the rental period is not completed until the bike has been returned to a station. All costs up to the time it is returned will be charged to the PubliBike card which was used to rent the bike.

 

6.2       Where can I use the bike?

The area of use is not limited. However, bikes must be returned to a station within the network they were rented from, except : between the Agglo Fribourg and Les Lacs-Romont networks.

 

6.3       Is it compulsory to wear a helmet?

No, it is not compulsory to wear a helmet but it can save your life if you have an accident. If you want to wear a helmet, you must provide your own. Make sure that it is certified CE EN 1978, AINSI, and SNELL. The provider accepts no liability in the event of an accident (also see General Terms and Conditions).(insert link)

 

6.4       Does the provider supply protective equipment?

No, users must bring their own protective equipment (such as helmets). The provider accepts no liability in the event of an accident (also see General Terms and Conditions).

 

6.5       Can I rent other accessories at the station?

No, other accessories are not available for rent at the station. Please note that you are liable for any damage caused by incorrectly mounting other accessories.

 

6.6       Can I adjust the height of the saddle / handlebars?

Yes, the height of the saddle can easily be adjusted using the quick-release lock underneath. The height of the handlebars cannot be adjusted.

 

6.7       Do the bikes have lights?

Yes, the bikes are equipped with lights. On some bikes, you need to activate the switch on the front light so that it will come on when it gets dark or as soon as you start pedalling.

 

6.8       Are bikes provided with a lock?

Bikes at stations with a touch screen have a lock on the frame that can be used to secure the bike. You must always carry the key with you and leave it in the lock when you return the bike. Do not lock the frame when you return the bike.

Bikes at stations with a totem are not provided with a lock. We strongly advise you to bring a lock with you if you want to make any stops on your journey other than at PubliBike stations. Bike locks are available free of charge (on payment of a deposit) from certain partners located near our stations. The list of sales points is shown on each station totem and on the list of sales points

 

6.9       I have lost/damaged the key to the bike. What should I do?

If it is still possible to move the bike, return it to a docking station at a PubliBike station and wait for the green light to come on. If the station has a touch screen, identify yourself again and report the problem under:  "Menu - Report a fault - Bike selection - Specify the damage category: miscellaneous".

If it is not possible to move the bike, call customer service on 0848 09 08 07 who will tell you how to proceed to secure the bike.

 

6.10    There is no charge left in the battery of my e-bike. What should I do?

Please return the bike to the nearest station. The battery will recharge automatically.

 

6.11    I have had an accident / my bike has broken down. What should I do?

If you have an accident involving the bike, you are obliged to report it immediately to customer service on 0848 09 08 07.

If your bike breaks down and the station is equipped with a terminal (touch screen), you can report the fault directly at the terminal. If not, contact customer service on 0848 09 08 07.

To report the fault at the terminal, return the bike to the docking station and identify yourself again. Select "Menu – Report a fault – Bike selection – Specify the damage category".

 

6.12    My bike has been lost/stolen. What should I do?

Report the loss/theft to customer service on 0848 09 08 07 who will tell you how to proceed. Please note that you are responsible for the bike. 

 

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7. Return

7.1       Can I return my bike to a different network to the one where I rented it?

No, this is not possible due to technical incompatibility. Bikes must be returned to a station within the network they were rented from, except : between the Agglo Fribourg and Les Lacs-Romont networks.

 

7.2       How do I secure a bike in the docking station? I can’t manage to secure the bike in the docking station. What should I do?

You will find instructions on returning bikes under "how it works"

 

7.3       What do I have to pay attention to when returning a bike?

After returning the bike, make sure that the green light on the docking station is on. If it is, the bike has been properly returned and the transaction is completed. If the green light is not on, try pushing the bike into the slot again or try another docking station.

If the station is fitted with touch screen you can use your card to check whether the bike has been properly returned. If the system indicates that you are currently renting a bike, it means that the bike has not been properly returned.

If you are still having difficulties, please call customer service on 0848 09 08 07.

 

7.4       Why is it so important that the bike is properly returned?

There is a risk that the bike may be stolen if it is not properly pushed into the slot. The last renter is always responsible for bikes stolen in this way. Please also note that the rental period continues to run if a bike is not properly returned, which may lead to unwanted charges.

 

7.5       I want to return a bike but my card is not working. What should I do?

Stations with touchscreen
You can return your bike at any time provided that there is a free docking station. You do not need your PubliBike card to return a bike.

Stations without toucscreen

> System IIa:
You can return your bike at any time provided that there is a free docking station in working order (green light). Place your card on the card reader. 

> System IIb:
You can return your bike at any time provided that there is a free docking station in working order (green light). You do not need your card to return a bike.

 

If you still cannot manage to return the bike, call customer service on 0848 09 08 07.

 

7.6       I want to return a bike but there is no space left at the station. What should I do?

A plan/list at the terminal or on the totem will show you where the other PubliBike stations are located. If the Ouchy station in Lausanne is full, you can take your bike to the "Maison du vélo", Place de l’Europe 1b (opening times on list of sales points).

You can also use the PubliBike smartphone application to search for a station with free spaces.

By accepting the General Terms and Conditions, you agreed to return the bike to a station. If you leave the bike outside a station, the rental period will continue to run and the cost will be charged to you. Furthermore, there is a risk that the bike may be stolen.

For extra security, you can also phone customer service on 0848 09 08 07 who will indicate the closest station with free spaces.

 

7.7       Can I check before I leave whether there are any free spaces at my destination station?

Yes, you can use the PubliBike smartphone application or the Internet site "network" to check the current status of all stations. Of course, the status may change while you are on the road.

 

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