Anti-Seismic Automated Bicycle Parking for a society conscious amenity space

Any able person can use a bicycle. Bicycles are fast becoming the city commuting vehicle of choice for health and environmentally conscious people, as they provide excellent physical exercise, and emit no harmful fumes. However, compared to European countries where the facilitation of bicycle use is highly advanced, there are still a lot of issues to be solved in Japan. The development rate of bicycle lanes is extremely low. In addition, bicycles are illegally parked everywhere in the cities, creating eyesores, mainly because bicycle parking areas are not built due to the lack of space and the high cost of land. These illegally parked bicycles are blocking traffic and spoiling the landscape, and also interfere with emergency/disaster prevention activities.  It is a big social problem.

In contrast, under the concept of “Culture Above-ground & Function Underground”, ECO Cycle® is an underground automatic mechanical type aseismic bicycle parking system, built using the best of press-in technology that has been in practice for a long time. ECO Cycle helps to realise highly convenient bicycle parking in locations, such as sidewalks, station front and shopping areas. Therefore, the eyesore of illegally parked bicycles in these locations can be replaced by an aesthetic space for public amenities.

Compactly-designed bicycle parking system that is society friendly and environmentally considerate

1. Space-saving, Compact Design

Absolute requirement for a bicycle parking area is that it is close to destinations such as stations and shopping streets. ECO Cycle can be installed in a very small space by the original technology GIKEN possesses. It is a compact system that exerts great power in places like city areas where large building site cannot be secured.

2. Ideal Facility to Create an Environmentally Considerate City

New city creation such as rent-a-cycle with the use of ecological vehicles and bicycles is beginning across the country. ECO Cycle installs its structures underground except a small entrance booth, and does not spoil the landscape of the cities. It consists of an environmentally considerate design (eco design) where the above-ground space may be used as parks.

3. Maximum Safety and Security

The dropping-off/retrieving system of bicycles is automated by computer control.  Safety is checked and secured by the sensors in multiple layers. In addition, since bicycles are stored in a confined underground space, security is high and there is no risk of theft or vandalism.

IC Card

4. Achieving Very High Operational Speed

Dropping-off and retrieving bicycles can be easily operated by anyone with IC tags and IC cards.  The time required to retrieve a bicycle is a mere 13 seconds on average. It is a labour and stress free operation.

IC Tag

5. Economical Operation Cost

Low cost has been realized with an effective storage mechanism and with the adoption of a systematic construction method. In addition, because of its labour free operating system, the operating cost has been remarkably reduced. “ECO” of the ECO Cycle does not only represent ecology, but also economy.

6. Speedy Simple Construction

Construction in a short period of time has been realized by a multi-function construction method. The continuous wall built by pressing-in sheet piles, itself becomes the aseismic structural wall of the ECO Cycle. With the press-in piling method, the noise or vibration that goes with other conventional piling methods is eliminated. Therefore, the effect on surrounding environments is minimal.

Trouble-free and Easy Operation

Dropping-off / retrieving bicycles is all automated and computer controlled. The operational instructions are provided by the visual panel and audio guidance.  Therefore, even first-time users and elderly people can easily use the system. Safety is ensured by various sensors and safety devices.

Video showing the process of dropping-off and retrieving a bicycle

Drop-off Operations

1. Push your bicycle forward to the front of the entrance door. The front wheel shutter opens, activated by the IC tag attached to the bicycle. Push the bicycle forward and insert the front wheel into the slot.

2. After the front wheel is inserted it is then clamped, and the bicycle is fixed. After fixing the bicycle is fixed, step clear from the mat, and press the “drop-off start” button. Drop-ping-off operation is then completed.

3. The entrance door opens, and the bicycle is drawn inside the entrance booth, and the door closes.

4. Inside the ECO Cycle, a cradle that holds the deposited bicycle goes down rotating towards an empty storage rack.

5. The cradle then stores the bicycle on the empty rack, and the dropping-off operation is completed.

Retrieval Operations

1. Place the IC card on the IC card reader.

2. Step clear from the loading dock, and wait.

3. Inside the ECO Cycle, the cradle retrieves the stored bicycle.

4. The retrieved bicycle comes up on the cradle, rotating towards the entrance booth.

5. The entrance door opens and the bicycle is pushed out. Remove your bicycle according to the audio guidance.

IC Card and IC Tag System

The IC tags and IC cards can be used in a contactless (waving) manner. This avoids errors in the reading of the cards, due to dirt or dust adhering to the card surface as is the case with magnetic cards. It also avoids cards being stuck in the reader due to card damage.

The IC tags and IC cards have a lifespan of more than 100,000 uses.

Each bicycle is individually identified by reading both the IC tag and IC Card.

Registered bicycle status is easily monitored using the IC card and IC tag system.

Loading Slot

The well designed entrance door has a very narrow loading slot. Therefore, safety is maximized as virtually nothing can enter the machine during drop-off.

Speedy simple construction

A multi-function construction method is adopted, where the continuous wall built by the pressed-in sheet piles itself becomes the aseismic structure wall of the ECO Cycle. By using prefabricated materials, based on the original press-in technology of GIKEN, speedy construction without temporary facilities has been achieved.

Construction Sequence

1. Installing piles to form a cylindrical wall using a specially designed Silent Piler.

2. Excavation of soil from the cylinder to create the underground space.

3. ECO Cycle is installed in the cylinder.

4. Finally the entrance booth is fixed above ground.

Basement Structure

Basement Construction

1. Outer Circular Earth Retaining Structure
The outer shaft is composed of steel sheet piles which are installed by the Press-in Method. Each sheet pile interlock is sealed to provide a water proof steel intensive basement.

2. Ground Floor Slab and Ring Beams
After a bulk excavation, internal ring beams are installed to support the circular retaining wall.  Also, the ground floor slab acts as a retaining wall supporting structure.

3. Basement Slab
The basement slab is connected to the retaining wall with shear studs to transfer loads from the mechanical storage system and uplifting force.

Environmentally Conscious Design (ECO Design)

Achieving a recycling-oriented life cycle that is environmentally conscious

As times change, modern society needs change. Therefore, we need to adapt to these changes.

Public facilities in the future will be something that can be easily removed, when their functions become obsolete.

The pressed-in sheet piles used in the construction of ECO Cycle can be removed, relocated and reused at another location. They may also be used for a completely different structural purpose. ECO Cycle performs a necessary function for a certain period and can be easily removed when its purpose is completed, it can be relocated and reused elsewhere. This way ECO Cycle is “a functional structure” that is environmentally conscious and has a function-based reusable life cycle.

Smart compact design, can accommodate most all types of commercially available bicycles

The staggered arrangement has been adopted in the palettes inside ECO Cycle, which can accommodate 204 bicycles in a very shallow underground space of 11.9m. Additionally, it is built to store various types of commercially available bicycles including the mountain bikes, electric bikes, the popular fold-able bikes, and the bikes with a rear basket or a child seat.


Various applications of ECO Cycle

Area accessibility can be maximized with ECO Cycles in train station squares or commercial building entrance areas.
Parking capacity can be maximized by installing underground models and above-ground models in the same area.
The entrance booth can be designed taking account into the surrounding environment.

You can tour an ECO Cycle, ECO Park demonstration.


“Address: Daido Shinagawa Building 1F, 1-6-35 Konan, Minato-ku, Tokyo”
*Approximately 7 minutes walk from JR Shinagawa Station Konan Exit (East Exit)

“Booking is required for the demonstration with 1-2 week notice. “

Contact: International Business Department
Tel. +81-(0)3-3528-1630 Fax +81-(0)3-3527-6055