BicingBA: City of Buenos Aires Launches Free Bicycle Service

Patrick Archer ba government, buenos aires events, lifestyle

From the Tour de France jersey to Lance Armstrong’s Live Strong bracelet, few colors are more emblematic of cycling than yellow. Fitting then that the City of Buenos Aires rolls out a fleet of new yellow bicycles today as part of an effort to reduce traffic, curb emissions and promote cycling in and around BA.

The effort began in earnest three years ago when the City of Buenos Aires Urban Planning Division under the direction of Mayor Mauricio Macri began to create a network of protected bike paths throughout the city: 36 kilometers have been completed and another 80 kilometers are currently under construction. (Map of Ciclovias Protegidas)

Creating protected lanes was a critical first step in a city like Buenos Aires where driving is a full contact sport pitting commuters against testosterone-fueled taxistas and bus drivers. Today begins Phase Two, the launch of free bicycle rental stations on strategic points along the Ciclovi­as.

“In December 2007 when the Legislature mandated the creation of a rental network, it seemed like a Utopia but three years later ‘Bicing’ is about to become a reality,” says Clarin’s Nora Sanchez. The first three rental stations with 34 bikes each are located at Retiro, the Facultad de Derecho and the Aduana Plaza. The City plans to roll out a dozen more stations over the next three months bringing the total number of free rental bikes available to 500, and the City’s ultimate goal is to have 5,000 bikes in circulation. (Full Story in Spanish)