If you’ve recently been between the main Luxembourg City train station (Gare Centrale) and the multistory parking complex you may have noticed an empty cage with bike racks within it. It’s been around for the last six months (Summer 2013) or so – but empty. Last week it finally opened and I dropped by to take some pictures. This new secured bike cage provides a new way for cycling to become part of the daily commute.
I visited the Mobilitéitszentral office at the train station in December to ask about the protected bicycle racks. Getting a membership/access card to M-Box is free. With a 20 euro refundable deposit you receive a card to open the gate and access the bike racks. To get a card you must register at the Mobilitéitszentral ticket counter at the train station. You can visit the M-box website and download the form to complete at home ahead of time, but you still need to visit the ticket counter. Download the brochure for more info.
This bike cage can provide some nice alternatives to those who prefer to ride their own bicycles over using the city’s Vél’oh! bicycle sharing system. Using the protected bike racks allows you to leave your bicycle overnight at the station without too much fear of vandalism or theft. Commuters from outside the city could transfer from the train to their personal bicycle without worrying about Vel’oh! availability or waiting for the bus. Conversely, people living within the city who take the train to work could leave their bicycle in the gated area during the day with the same peace of mind. A second M-Box will also be installed at Mersch train station this spring.
There are many other bike racks currently available directly outside the gated area in case you do find the cage full. The number of bike racks on both sides of the train station has recently increased and is being well utilized. Once word spreads about this new addition I suspect it will fill up as well.
There is no question that providing one more option for commuters is a great thing. I do, however, find it unfortunate that the protected racks are not closer to the station or more directly accessible. But interestingly, the current location of the cage also makes cycling an accessible option for car commuters.
In addition to the new enclosure, a very welcome foot-powered air pump, the M-Pump, has been installed nearby.
Check out a more pictures of the bike cage and pump on our Flickr page.