Barcelona Bike share system “Bicing” – 105,000 people can’t be wrong!

Re-blogged from: sustainaboost

I am amazed! No more being stuck in traffic, no more trying to find a parking spot, no more running after buses, no more time spent on, by tourists and pickpockets crowded metro platforms, no more waiting for the tram or wasting money on expensive taxi fares!

After trying for just a little bit more than a week. I am totally convinced! I love “Bicing” and its great concept of bike sharing here in Barcelona. If I’m alone to see the clever in this? No! Almost 105.000 citizens are using this service and the popularity is growing.

In Barcelona bikes are stolen all the time and you’re recommended to invest the same amount of money on your locks, as you did on your bike in the first place. …but, with Bicing, you’ll need no more worries my friend.

You don’t need to carry your bike up and down the stairs anymore, and no matter where in the city you are, you can almost be sure to have a Bicing station within two or three blocks from you. Where I live, I have six stations within a distance of 300 meters, the closest one is just a block away.

Click on the pic below to see the map showing the locations of all Bicing stations.

Bicing Station by the beach in Barcelona

Bicing Station by the beach in Barcelona

Whenever you want to go somewhere in the city, you just catch a bike from nearest Bicing station. Slip your magnetic card, grab the bike suggested on the display and off you go. You have 30 minutes per ride on your annual subscription included. If you’re holding on to the bike longer than that you need to pay an extra fee.

About 45 euros is the yearly cost, that´s pretty much what I spent before only on Metro cards every month. You can return your bike at any of the 420 stations around, wherever it is convenient for you.

Bicing has 6000 bikes available for its clients and every bike travels an average of more than 550 km per month. That’s pretty impressive.

The photo below is a link to a map of Barcelona with the main bike lanes displayed.

Bike lanes photographed from my balcony

Bike lanes photographed from my balcony

Barcelona is an excellent city for this concept. The weather conditions are great most time of the year. Since the main part of the city is rather flat you don´t need to struggle going uphill all the time. There are also a lot of space, for example if you’re cruising on the beach walk or along the biggest streets and avenues like Diagonal or Gran Via. Usually you just need to go a couple of blocks to find a nice bike lane integrated in the street.

It feels very good to cycle through the city, passing car queues and traffic jams smoothly, and it´s so nice to feel the breeze in your hair while moving around downtown in the sunshine instead of sitting or standing in a really warm bus.

Below you have screenshot of the Bicing smartphone app. It’s really useful, showing you where you can find an available bike or a space to park the one you´re already on. If you click on the pic you will see a listing of the largest bike sharing programs around the world.

Is there bike sharing in your city? If you have experience or thoughts on the concept, please feel free to comment on the blog post! :)

Some of the more than 420 Bicing stations in Barcelona

Some of the more than 420 Bicing stations in Barcelona

Unfortunately Bicing is not available for tourists from outside of Catalonia. I now that in Gothenburg for example you can get a three days pass on the bike sharing there for about €1,20 and that’s a good price. Here the many bike rental shops were strictly against these kind of offers. As a tourist you can find so many alternatives to Bicing, but if you´re living here it´s truly recommended. Personally I think it´s the very best way of getting around here, no doubt.

Sustainaboost just registered on Instagram a week ago. If you like the new photos, feel free to follow us there. Just click on the picture for the link so you can like and comment on all future pictures. Come on now, click! …let’s see if you can click on my nose! ;) Hehe!

Cruising on a mission ;)

Cruising on a mission ;)

Wonderful little movie of a cruise in Barcelona! Looks great don’t you think?!

[Editor’s note: Please visit sustainaboost.com to view the YouTube video showing the “Bicing” bike ride around Barcelona]

Anyway folks, I’m so happy that I started to use Bicing. This city changed a lot in my point of view, and it’s all for the better. If you also want to subscribe on this wonderfully clever bike sharing, that saves you money, improves your health and reduce emissions and noise.

Just click on the Bicing logo below for the official webpage! …and if your family and friends or anyone you know are tired of the traffic situation, just recommend them bike sharing or share this blog post with them, so they can read a little bit about it as well. You can find similar concepts in many cities.

Bike Sharing System of Barcelona

Bike Sharing System of Barcelona

Thank you very much for reading! Have a great day… all boosters out there! Together we’ll make the world better, just keep on smiling! :D

Related Articles on sustainaboost.com:

Bicycle-Sharing Systems: Pedal your way to Better Health

by John Brian Shannon John Brian Shannon

Honk your horn, if you want better health!

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BIXI bike sharing systems are found in many cities. Image courtesy of: BIXI

We all want to feel healthier, and many people these days want to do their part to lower their personal carbon footprint.

One way to accomplish both at the same time is to ride a bike anytime you can. It is so obviously, a good thing to do. But when you’re traveling, it can be difficult to lug your bike around so that you can take your daily ride around Naples, Barcelona, Miami Beach, or other warm and sunny place.

It may surprise you to know how many bikes are available to rent at low cost from so-called Bicycle Sharing Systems (BSS) in many of the world’s cities.

The total number of bikes available from the various BSS’s  around the world at the end of 2011, was 236,000 bicycles. That’s right, from 5 European-only operations with less than 100 bicycles ten years ago — to over 375 BSS’s worldwide, with 236,000 bikes in almost every country as of Dec 31st, 2011, BSS is a textbook definition of high growth!

Launched in 2008, the Hangzhou Public Bicycle programme in China is the largest bicycle sharing system in the world, with around 61,000 bicycles and over 2,400 stations; the Vélib’ in Paris, which encompasses 20,000 bicycles and 1,450 bicycle stations is the largest outside of China. Other countries with systems are Spain (100+), Italy (80), and Germany (50). – Wikipedia

According to the Bike-sharing World Map info — just the cities and towns beginning with the letter “A” boast some 5000 bikes which are available only by coin deposit and high-tech (pre-paid passcard or credit card) but the numbers may be even higher, as accurate record-keeping is difficult to maintain with high rates of growth.

Vélib bike sharing system
One of the first bike share systems, Vélib is also the most successful. It also maintains an excellent bike sharing blog. Image courtesy of Vélib

There are many compelling reasons to have a bike-sharing operation in your city or town. If you drive part-way to work in the city, many cities have convenient and low cost parking areas for your car which is where you pick up a bike. Done with your bike? Just pull out your smartphone, it will display a drop-off point close to you.

Does your city have a bike-sharing program or low cost bike-rentals? If it doesn’t, ask why not.

Solar powered bike-docking stations are popping up across New York City in preparation for the launch of the United States’ largest bike-sharing program, CitiBike.

The initial roll-out of the program will include 300 stations and 5,500 bikes.

A few years ago, the city’s department of transportation (otherwise known as NYC Dot) started replacing single-space parking meters with bike parking. Now, many more parking spaces will be converted into CitiBike hubs. – Meribeth Deen

Cities like Washington, D.C., can’t install bike stations fast enough to keep up with the demand — even with their time-weighted pricing schedule. The D.C. program has been called a victim of it’s own success.

  • From a government perspective, having healthier citizens will help to lower total health infrastructure expenditures and overall health care costs, while cleaner air and less traffic congestion in downtown or tourist areas can improve access, lower infrastructure costs and improve the visitor experience — meaning visitors might stay longer and spend more money.
  • For daily commuters or for tourists from outside the immediate area, adding the option of affordable bikes, means lower gasoline and parking costs. It adds convenience, health and enjoyment to their visit.

So, the next time you are planning to run errands downtown in the car (and trying to find parking spots) or if you are enjoying a weekend at the beach, ask yourself this;

Would my life be more enjoyable and would I spend less money on parking fees and gasoline, if I simply rented a bike?

Of course it would. Enjoy getting that extra sunshine. It will do you a world of good!