We often think that only in northern Europe there is a great use of the bicycle: when we refer to Amsterdam, Berlin, Copenhagen, we think of these places as a “paradise for cyclists”, where only 30% of the population uses the car. We ignore, however, that also in the Mediterranean region there are these beautiful eco sustainable realities. Barcelona is the proof. Here, only 20% of the population, according to statistics, uses the car. In the Catalan capital, more than 70% of the people prefer to move by foot, public transport or bicycle. In the last few years, this choice is having more and more pupularity, due to the bike rental services in the city.
Today we are focusing on Bicing. Established in 2007, it is the most important bike-sharing service in the city: only available for residents in Barcelona, it has nearly 100,000 subscribers (who pay an annual subscription of only € 47.16), 6000 bicycles and 420 stations where users can find bikes provided by the service
. The Bicing electrico service has been established a few days ago, thanks to the strong interest of the city council and the mayor who have offered € 5 million for this project. Electric bike sharing Barcelona, opened on December 16, offers, as the standard service, a magnetic card and an application to download on the phone that allows you to find the nearest station, and then to use one of the bikes “activated” by the card. Also in this case the service is available only to residents in the city.
The “Bicing” bicycle has a rear hub motor (maximum speed 20km/h), three levels of assistance, drum brakes, an automatic night lighting system and 24′ ‘tires; it is described as a 2-speed bike. Power is supplied by a locally manufactured lithium battery, providing an autonomy of 30-40 km and recharge times of 2-3 hours. At the moment, the electric bike sharing Barcelona is in test phase and provides to its 1500 subscribers a limited number of stations where they can find 150 electric bikes: 21 available just in the central parts of the Eixample and Ciutat Vella.
The price of an annual subscription is 14 € (for more info on service costs we recommend to see this link). Xavier Trias, Mayor of the Catalan capital, hopes to start the service at full capacity within February 2015 with the addition (within 2017) of 150 bikes and 23 other stations.