Bike sharing

Bike sharing on campus © Jonathan Viey

To promote and enhance the use of bicycles for commuting, EPFL has developed integrated, continuous and safe cycling infrastructure on campus with good connections to the surrounding areas. The School is a forerunner in self-service bicycle sharing, with the first Swiss network inaugurated on campus in 2009 and the organisation of a pilot project in 2019 prior to the development of the new PubliBike network in several Swiss conurbations, including Zürich and Bern.

Bike sharing

A large number of shared bicycles are available to the EPFL community to encourage people to discover cycling and make it easier to get around the campus.

PubliBike

PubliBike offers self-service bicycle and e-bike. With more than 5,800 bikes and 690 stations, PubliBike is present in eight regions (Lausanne-Morges, Nyon Region, Fribourg, Zürich, Berne, Coire Region and Sottoceneri (TI)).

The EPFL community can subscribe to PubliBike for one year (CHF 50.-) or six months (CHF 25.-), valid from the time of registration. The first 60 minutes of each journey (by bike or e-bike) are included in the subscription, after which the per-minute rate applies (bike: CHF 0.05, e-bike: CHF 0.10).

A total of 13 PubliBike stations are available on the UNIL-EPFL campus. PubliBike is also operating on the EPFL campuses in Fribourg and Sion. The CampusBike subscription gives access to all the other PubliBike networks in Switzerland. → See the map

  • Get an EPFL subscription (see above) and check bike availability using the PubliBike app.
  • Press the button behind the saddle to unlock the bike. Hold your smartphone or CAMIPRO card up to the lock. It will open automatically.

With an EPFL subscription, you have 60 minutes included for each use. Once this time has elapsed, the rate is CHF 0.05 (bike) and CHF 0.10 (e-bike) per minute. Up to 5 bikes can be borrowed simultaneously; each additional bike is charged at the B-Quick subscription rate.

Simply bring the bike to a station and close the lock. The journey ends automatically.

Cargobikes EPFL

The EPFL community can borrow Switzerland’s first cargobikes free of charge for up to 12 hours. These bikes offer an alternative to the car for transporting goods on campus and in the surrounding area. The EPFL fleet comprises 6 electric cargobikes and 2 muscle cargobikes equipped with smart locks controlled by a smartphone application.

The EPFL campus counts 6 electric cargobikes and 2 muscle cargobikes equipped with smart locks controlled by a smartphone application → Map of cargobike locations

  • Install the Donkey Republic iOS or Android Under the “Profile” tab, create your account using your EPFL e-mail address.
  • The first 12 hours of use are free, after which a supplement of CHF 10 per day will be charged.
  • Maximum load: 100 kg. It is strictly forbidden to transport people.
  • Near the bike, click on your reservation and then on “Unlock”. The lock will open automatically after 5 seconds. The location service and your Bluetooth connection must be activated.
  • Lower the lock lever when you take a break, then click on “Unlock” in the application when you’re ready to set off again.

Before your loan time runs out, simply return your cargo bike to its location and plug it into the charging station. Lock your bike and end your loan by clicking on “Return” then “End Rental”.

Frequently asked questions (PDF, 153 KB)

Donkey Republic

The Donkey Republic bike sharing network is available in a number of locations in Switzerland, including Neuchâtel (Microcity) and Geneva (Campus Biotech). EPFL staff members can subscribe to an annual pass at a preferential rate.

At EPFL, it is possible to get an annual subscription to Donkey Republic at the preferential rate of CHF 48/year (instead of CHF 60/year). This includes 12 hours’ use of all Donkey Republic networks.

  • Free subscription between February and the end of April 2024 for the EPFL community
  • One free hour per rental
  • Valid only on the Neuchâtel region. However, once activated, the voucher is valid in all Donkey Republic networks in Switzerland and abroad.
  • Link to the voucher (only in French)

To find a bike, install the Donkey Republic iOS or Android application. Under the “Profile” tab, create your account using your EPFL e-mail address. You will then be able to take advantage of an annual subscription for CHF 48.

When a bike is available, it is displayed on the map. Click on it and follow the procedure. The rental is valid for 12 hours at no additional cost.

  • Near the bike, click on your reservation and then on “Unlock”. The lock will open automatically after 5 seconds. The location service and your Bluetooth connection must be activated.
  • Lower the lock lever when you take a break, then click on “Unlock” in the application when you’re ready to set off again.
  • Before your rental period expires, simply return your bike to its location.
  • Lock your bike and end your loan by clicking on “Return” then “End Rental”.

In Neuchâtel, the annuel pass entitles you to:

Velospot

Velospot offers self-service bicycles and e-bikes. With over 2,200 bikes and 700 stations, Velospot is present in 11 networks.

The EPFL community can subscribe to an annual Velospot pass (CHF 50.– instead of CHF 99.-) or a six-month pass (CHF 25.-), valid from the time of registration. The first 30 minutes of each journey (by bike or e-bike) are free, after which the per-minute rate applies (bike: CHF 0.10, e-bike: CHF 0.10).

  1. To enable Velospot to create your account at the EPFL preferential rates, please contact [email protected].
  2. Create a Velospot account with the EPFL address via the dedicated app, available on Google Play or the App Store, or the website.
  3. Insert the partner code “EPFLSPOT” and the verification code received by SMS to benefit from the EPFL discount.
  4. Select the desired subscription: EPFL Classic 365 days (annual) or EPFL Classic 183 days (half-yearly).
  5. Proceed to payment to receive the 8-digit code for opening the bikes by email. This code is also available in your customer account, in the “My subscriptions” tab.
  6. Search for the nearest station in the Velospot App and borrow a bicycle or e-bike!

The network in central Valais includes almost 90 stations and 240 bicycles spread over 12 communes. The EPFL Classic subscription gives access to all the other Velospot networks in Switzerland. → See the map

  1. Grab a bike from a Velospot station. Press the on/off button on the lock (blue LED).
  2. Enter the opening code received by email on the lock (or present your Velospot card).
  3. Green LED: code accepted / Red LED: code refused – try again.
  4. Open the lock. Check that the ring is not stuck by a spoke.
  • When you rent a bike, you can lock it at any time away from a Velospot station. Simply press the on/off button before lowering the red lever as if you were returning a bike to a Velospot station. A flash of red from the lock accompanied by a long beep confirms that the process is complete. If the lock is correctly closed, other users will not be able to access the rented bike.
  • Note: if you lock your bike outside a Velospot station, your journey and the associated costs will continue.
  1. Return the bike to a Velospot station. Press the on/off button (white LED).
  2. Manually close the lock with the red lever and hold it down until you hear 2 beeps.
  3. Bike locked.
  4. End of ride confirmation sent by email/push alert. Also visible on your account, under “My shopping”.

The locks on e-bikes with insufficient power remain closed.

Events and other cycling services

D’autres services cyclistes accompagnent et encouragent l’essor du vélo sur le campus.