The Vienna Cargobike Collective (Lastenradkollektiv-LRK) is a group of about 20 people who want to facilitate an autonomous cargo bike transport and push the idea of an almost carfree city. Founded in 2010 as a non-commercial project it works on the basis of free donations and supports local d.i.y. Initiatives. On our blog interested people can choose the most suitable among 11 cargo bikes and 9 trailers and also find all the information regarding the lending of a bike.
The Vienna Cargobike Collective (Lastenradkollektiv-LRK) has been founded in 2010 to facilitate an autonomous cargo transport with bikes in Vienna. The idea was on one hand to enable people to move their stuff without cars. More and more people in Vienna don\'t have cars and we think that an almost carfree city is a more worthy place to live in. On the other hand we want to support local DIY initiatives to organise their events and actions. The LRK was created as a non-commercial project, where people act in solidarity and provide mutual support. That\'s why we don\'t charge obligatory fees for using the bikes, but give people the possibility to donate into a maintenance fund or to support the construction or the purchase of new bikes. Another aim of our activities is to enable such people to ride cargo bikes who don\'t have much experience in doing so.
The money for purchasing the first bikes in 2010 was put together from donations by the Austrian Students Association, from hosting the Vienna Critical Mass and its after party and by obtaining a grant for sustainable projects. Up to March 2013 the project has grown in the amount of bikes and trailers as well as in the number of active members. We started as a group of five persons with four cargo bikes. By now we are 15 to 20 active persons who take care of eleven cargo bikes and nine trailers. In summer 2012 some of our bikes were in action every day. For sharing our knowledge in organising the cargo bike collective, from time to time we organise a „How to become a Cargobike Collective“ workshop. Until now we have organised such workshops at the cyclocamps 2011 in Ottensheim/Austria and 2012 in Leipzig and at the Solidarökonomiekongress 2013 in Vienna. More informal information on how we run the collective we spread at the Bikebike 2012 in Vancouver and at the Bikefestival 2012 in Zagreb. Up to now we know of two other cargo bike collectives (Leipzig and Brooklyn), that have been founded inspired by the LRK. The LRK was also involved in the process of developing the Velologistics cargobike mapping project.
How Are We Organised?
Basically, every cargo bike and every trailer is hosted by one person at his or her home. This person lends the bike or the trailer to different users. On our blog you can find all the cargo bikes and trailers including a short description and their location in Vienna. Furthermore people interested in borrowing a bike can read up for what certain bikes can be used for, what the users have to bring along (eg. a bicycle lock or lights) and what the conditions are (especially the height of the security deposit) for using the bikes. Once the interested person has selected a bike or a trailer, he/she it has to send an E-mail with the corresponding information to the LRK. This information is spread by an internal list to the different hosts of the bikes. The corresponding host has to get in contact with the interested person and to organise the whole process of lending the bike to him- or herself.
Apart from organizing the lending process the hosts are also in charge of making small maintenance works like changing the brakes or broken cables. Bigger maintenance is done during maintenance days twice a year at a DIY bike workshop, where more experienced members of the collective help the others with more sophisticated repairs. To make common decisions, a meeting of the members of the collective is held every one to three months. In order to gain public attention, the LRK hosts the Vienna Critical Mass once or twice a year and organizes the after event, where people apart from coming together can try different cargo bikes. Sometimes there is the possibility to participate in a cargo alley cat or in a heavy sprint organized by members of the LRK.