Monday, January 10, 2011
The Buenos Aires government sure is doing something right aggressively pushing bike use, even against complaining drivers or dumb press campaigns. After creating new bike paths and better conditions for bike parking, they are now officially launching the city's bike sharing system, announced more than two years ago but finally hitting the streets tomorrow.
According to Clarin newspaper, the system will start with 100 bikes in three stations (Retiro, Law Faculty and the Customs park). It's estimated that it will get to 500 bikes in 12 stations in the next three months.
The local Bicing -yes, called the same as the über popular Barcelona system- will be free with previous registration and the bikes will be requested personally with an ID and automatically later on.
Bikes will be available from Monday to Saturday for two hours a time, with an accompanying helmet. Registration will be open from tomorrow on at MejorEnBici.gov.ar.
The quiet launch with only three stations and lots of personal control by government personel aims to avoid vandalism problems that systems like Vélib faced, until they can test how users react to the idea.
Although some problems may come up, the local Bicing will certainly encourage the growing hip wave around bikes Buenos Aires is going through. With hundreds hitting the local Critical Mass every month, events popping up everywhere and the government pushing the vehicle, the city is on its way to become more and more bike-friendly.
This certainly needs to happen if the government wants to put some order to the traffic madness that the soaring car sales have caused in the street.
Posted by WALTER, THE FAMOUS ARGENTINIAN MACKEM at 3:32 AM