Bonn A new bicycle station in Bonn city center offers not only secure parking spaces but bike services as well. It contributes to bicycle mobility in Bonn and gives young, unemployed people job training and qualifications.
Bernd Kemmerling has already had his bike stolen three times in Bonn's city center. On Wednesday morning, the pastor of the Church of St. Sebastian in Poppelsdorf decided to venture by bicycle into the city anyway. This time he was able to safely park his bike: in the new Caritas bike station on Quantius Straße. In fact, the clergyman gave his blessings to the new bike facility, with numerous guests in attendance at an opening ceremony.
The new bike station opened four weeks ago on the ground level of a student apartment building, and it appears bright and friendly. “We have been longing for this move,” said Bettina Kunze who runs the bike station. She recalled the many years employees spent in some fairly drafty temporary quarters behind the main train station.
Mayor Ashok Sridharan praised the new bicycle parking station, which now offers high-quality bike storage with bike-related services. "A great offer," said the mayor. But although the new facility offers significantly more parking spaces than the previous one, Sridharan also admits that the 550 spaces are not enough. "That’s why in the long term, we are also planning a bike station in front of the main train station," he said.
Jean-Pierre Schneider is director of the Catholic relief and social services organization Caritas and pointed out that the bike station is sustainable in two ways. It promotes bicycle mobility in the city of Bonn and it also contributes to the preservation of creation. At the same time, it offers young people in difficult life situations a new perspective. Currently, the bike station offers 24 young unemployed people under the age of 25 training and preparation for the labor market. According to Schneider, about 1,200 young people have trained there since the founding of the bicycle station 18 years ago. The operation of the bike station and the qualifications that the young people receive are coordinated with the city of Bonn and the job center.
(Orig. text: Lisa Inhoffen, Translation: Carol Kloeppel)