Ready, Set, Go: Ride Poynt
Poynt Bikes, Stellenbosch’s first ever bike sharing system, is officially ready to take on customers having completed its pilot phase in July. The fully electronic, app based system is designed as a convenient way of getting around town, which is also fun, affordable and eco friendly. “It literally works like Uber” says pilot manager, Marchant van den Heever. “You look on the map, see where the bikes are and get where you want to go. “To use the service, you must register on the Poynt Bikes app. A map shows you in real time how many bikes are available for rent at different stations. Select the bike you want, enable bluetooth and click the bike unlocks and is yours to use for as long as you need it. At the end of your trip, simply lock it back into place at the nearest station.
Currently, the Poynt fleet consists of about 80 cycles at 11 locations around Stellenbosch. These include Kruiskerk, Simonsrust, the BP on Dorp Street, Eikestad Mall, Groeneweide and all six CampusKey blocks. Pricing varies depending on your needs. There are multiple payment options ranging from pay as you go day plans for the casual user, to monthly and annual subscriptions. The service is aimed at all members of the community, and could potentially be a viable solution to the congestion and parking problems in town, according to co founder Miles Grizic. “We felt that Stellenbosch is the ideal place for bike share due to the growing university and population, high tourism and infrastructural difficulties,” he says.
Among Poynt’s goals is to increase accessibility, extend the reach of transit, improve the health of citizens and enhance the image of Stellenbosch. The vision is to develop a working model for an alternative method of transportation so that in time, bike sharing stations are to be found on every street corner. Right now, the focus is on convincing people to buy in to the idea. “We’re looking at getting a base of people on board that consistently use the system, and are willing to pay for it,” says Van den Heever, “But, I have a lot of faith. I can’t see why you wouldn’t want to use it.” Nicolette Van Schalkwyk 23 and Ross Michaels 24 with the Poynt bikes. Both are students at Stellenbosch University. They are solid, single speed and designed for maximum comfort and ease of use. These bicycles come with a built in lock system and are accessible via a user friendly app. Photo: Nell Hofmeyr