The City of Gent offers a rental bike to students at very low costs (€40 per year). A lot of these bikes get stolen or are missing. In order to decrease the number of bike thefts, a unique frame has been developed where a large serial number is engraved. StudentENMobiliteit (S&M) is a non-profit organization founded by the City of Gent, the University and schools for Higher Education. The organization rents out more than 5,000 bicycles to students.
The measure within CIVITAS ELAN is about finding an IT-based system to prevent the yellow student bicycles from being stolen. In case of theft, the system will be able to locate the stolen bike. But the first stage in this CIVITAS measure is the development of a unique frame. The frame has been developed especially for S&M and cannot be used elsewhere. The organization invested in a CNC machine (Computer Numerical Control) to be able to engrave all the new bicycles in house. The main tube of the frame is engraved with a large indelible number 4.5cm high. The frame will lead to immediate recognition of the rental bikes and will prevent bicycle theft.