Barcelona's Bike Sharing Program Celebrates its 2-Year Anniversary with its 186,000 Users


Image credit: CESAR RANGEL/AFP/Getty Images

As you could read in our first post about Barcelona’s bike sharing system written in May 2007, Bicing started with a bang: 30,000 subscribers in the first 2 months; 15 stations and 200 bicycles to start with. Since then, it has been forced to expand and grow rapidly and now counts 400 stations and 6,000 bikes for 186,000 subscribers. Read on for more impressive numbers and figures.9% of the citizens are Bicing-users
Over the two years, it has had ups and downs but managed to establish itself as an additional form of public transport. More and more red and white bikes circulate the streets of the Catalan capital, offering an eco-friendly, healthy and cheap alternative to taxis, metro and buses or even the private car. The number of users has been growing without interruption since it launched on March 22nd in 2007, which demanded a rapid reaction so that the system wouldn’t collapse. On a daily bases, Bicing counts 35,000 bike journeys and since February 2009, has 186,000 users, which represent 9% of the city’s population.

Barcelona slowly becomes bike-friendly
It hasn’t been left unnoticed that since the Bicing was set up in Barcelona, the city has undergone a few changes. The number of private bikes has definitely also increased in the last few years, and the city council has started to expand the bike lanes and bicycle parking. The Bicing bikes have also been improved by making the parking more theft-proof, adding adequate front and back lights that work with dynamos, more robust bells and safer breaks.

Bicing, a Product Service System
Another important factor is the service provided. Because Barcelona is quite hilly, most people prefer to cycle downhill but take the metro uphill, which leads to not enough bikes uptown and no spaces to park the bikes downtown and especially near the beach on weekends. Bicing has introduced a free helpline as well as increased its staff by 50%. Moreover, a great softwear for iPhones has been developed where you can easily find the nearest available bike or parking slot near you. Despite the well-designed bikes, wear and tear demands fixing the bikes regularly, and Bicing repairs around 400 bicycles daily, some 11,000 every month.

Luckily Bicing hasn’t fallen victim to massive theft and vandalism acts like the Parisian Bike Sharing Program, because that is definitely not very sustainable. Let’s hope Barcelona’s Bicing will have another successful year, in which bicycles, people and other vehicles happily circle the streets and come to respect each other. After all, Barcelona still has a lot to learn when it comes to the correct use of bikes and respect for the same by non-cyclists, and the city could also do with better-designed bike lanes that are free of obstacles such as trees or newspaper stands… Via ::Barcelona City Council ::Bicing
More about Bicing:
Barcelona Launched Bicing
The TH Interview: Barcelona City Council about Bicing
The TH Interview: Bicing users about the bike sharing program
The TH Interview: Clear Channel about Bicing
Bicing-powered Christmas trees
Bike-Sharing Goes Global: 5 Programs You Should Know About

Tags: Barcelona | Bike-Friendly World | Bikes | Bike Sharing | Biking | Spain