Deutsche Bahn is restricting its range of Call-a-Bike bikes in Berlin due to vandalism damage. “The city’s bike-sharing bikes are currently being hit by an ongoing wave of vandalism,” the company said in a message to customers available to the Tagesspiegel.
“A part of our bicycle fleet is therefore currently not usable, so that less roadworthy Call a Bikes are available.” For these reasons, some stations have been temporarily emptied and deactivated. It could also happen that bikes that could not be found would be displayed in the app, it said.
Around half of the 2,500 bikes in Berlin are currently affected by the damage, according to information from the Tagesspiegel. The bikes would be “opened by force, partly destroyed and then stolen,” the company wrote to its customers. Anyone who sees a damaged bike should inform the company and call the police if they see vandalism, the railways asked their customers.
A spokeswoman for the railway confirmed the report on request. Since the beginning of April, the problem has been “noticeable” in Berlin in particular – although the railway company only renewed the locks on the rear wheels in winter.
With other rental bike companies, on the other hand, the problem in Berlin is not acute at the moment.
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“We are repeatedly affected by vandalism, but have not observed any ‘wave’ or other abnormalities lately,” said a spokeswoman for the rental company Nextbike, which offers around 3,000 bikes in the capital. Unfortunately, damage must be taken into account.