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

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U.S. Bike-Sharing Fleet More than Doubles in 2013

By: Earth Policy Institute  — Special to JBS News

chicago bike share

By Janet Larsen

The opening of the San Francisco Bay Area bike share on August 29, 2013, brings the combined fleet of shared bikes in the United States above 18,000, more than a doubling since the start of the year. The United States is now home to 34 modern bike-sharing programs that allow riders to easily make short trips on two wheels without having to own a bicycle. With a number of new programs in the works and planned expansions of existing programs, the U.S. fleet is set to double again by the end of 2014, at which point nearly 37,000 publicly shared bicycles will roll the streets.

U.S. Bike-Sharing Fleet, 2012-2014

The largest bike share in the United States is in New York City, where some 6,000 bicycles are available at 332 stations in Manhattan and Brooklyn. The program opened at the end of May 2013, and in less than 3 months hit 2 million trips. On busy days, each bike gets checked out seven times or more, a remarkably high borrowing rate. The city ultimately hopes to expand the program to other boroughs and grow to 10,000 bikes.

The other large bike-sharing debut in 2013 was in Chicago, where 1,500 Divvy bikes now grace the streets. The program hopes to double to 3,000 cycles by the end of the year, ultimately growing to 4,000 strong—reinforcing the city’s efforts to dramatically boost biking. In addition to making shared bikes readily accessible transit, Chicago plans to extend the path and trail network to within a half-mile of all residences.

GRAPH: U.S. Bike-Sharing Fleet, Largest Programs, as of August 2013

Before New York and Chicago came on the bike-sharing scene, Washington, DC, held America’s top spot. Its program has grown to over 2,000 bikes, spreading into neighbouring communities. Transport planners from cities around the country have made the pilgrimage to Washington to ride one of the cherry-red Capital Bikeshare bikes and see firsthand how the popular program works. Since 2007, biking in the nation’s capital doubled to 3.5 percent of all commuter trips, and bike sharing has made it more convenient to travel the expanding web of marked cycle lanes.

Other large bike shares include Nice Ride in Minneapolis and St. Paul (1,550 bikes), Hubway in the Boston area (1,100 bikes), and DecoBike Miami Beach (1,000 bikes). Aspen, Columbus, Fort Worth, and Salt Lake City are among the more than a dozen programs that opened in 2013, joining a list of cities that have enjoyed bike sharing for longer, including Denver, San Antonio, Chattanooga, Madison, and Fort Lauderdale.

Bike-Sharing Programs in the United States, 2007-2014

On the international scene, the United States is just catching Europe and Asia’s bike-sharing tailwind. Worldwide, more than half a million cycles can be picked up in well over 500 cities in 51 countries. Italy and Spain have the greatest number of programs, while China is home to two thirds of the global shared bike fleet.

New York is the only American city to make it onto the list of the world’s 20 largest bike-sharing programs. In fact, five cities have more shared bikes than the entire U.S. fleet. Four of them are in China, where Wuhan reportedly has some 90,000 shared bikes for its 9 million people. Hangzhou has 69,750 bikes that are well integrated with that city’s mass transit.

The world’s third largest bike share is Vélib’ in Paris, the first large-scale program to gain worldwide attention. Since its 2007 launch, riders have taken 173 million trips. According to the program, one of the nearly 24,000 Vélib’ bikes gets checked out every second of the day. Vélib’ claims to have the highest bike density among the world’s top programs, with one bike available for every 97 city residents.

Largest Bike-Sharing Programs Worldwide, August 2013

Within the next year, the U.S. bike-sharing fleet will have caught up with Paris. New entries in Florida could push the country past that mark, with launches expected in Miami (500 bikes, an expansion from Miami Beach), St. Petersburg (300 bikes), and Tampa (300 bikes). Phoenix is also hoping to launch a 500-bike program that will double in size as neighbouring cities join in. Rollouts hoped for in 2014 include large offerings in Los Angeles (some 4,000 bikes) and San Diego (1,800 bikes), as well as 500+ bike programs in Portland (Oregon), Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, and Seattle, along with a number of smaller markets.

The new San Francisco Bay Area scheme is starting out relatively diffuse, with 700 bicycles split between San Francisco and other cities along the 50-mile rail line south to San Jose. Planners note that it ultimately could grow to a network of 10,000 bikes, better allowing rail riders to travel the first and last mile or so of their commute on two wheels. As communities continue to improve their biking infrastructure and as enthusiasm for an efficient, environmentally friendly, healthy, and enjoyable form of transportation grows, bike sharing has a bright future in the United States.

U.S. Bike-Sharing Fleet, Largest Program Plans, as of August 2013

(For full list of current and planned U.S. bike-sharing programs, click here.)

For more information on bike-sharing in the United States and globally, see “Dozens of U.S. Cities Board the Bike-Sharing Bandwagon” and “Bike-Sharing Programs Hit the Streets in Over 500 Cities Worldwide,” by Janet Larsen.

Image credit: opacity via photopin cc

This article, U.S. Bike-Sharing Fleet More than Doubles in 2013, is syndicated from sustainablog and is posted here with permission.

About the Author

is the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular cleantech-focused website in the world, and Planetsave, a world-leading green and science news site. He has been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and he has been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, and wind energy for the past four years or so. Aside from his work on CleanTechnica and Planetsave, he’s the Network Manager for their parent organization – Important Media – and he’s the Owner/Founder of Solar Love, EV Obsession, and Bikocity. To connect with Zach on some of your favorite social networks, go to ZacharyShahan.com and click on the relevant buttons.