Following successful programs in Amsterdam and Copenhagen (along with less successful programs elsewhere) Barcelona is investing in bicycles. The program, called Bicing, will consist of 200 (a goal of 1,500 knock on wood) bikes, accessed by a membership card at one of 14 dedicated racks. The group’s website offers online tracking of the bikes which should help with distribution. Free for the first half hour, the Barcelona system should be able to escape the main problem with free bike programs, accountability, by using membership cards linked to real money. If you can read Spanish, or Catalan for that matter, head over to “bicing.com”:http://bicing.com and learn more about it.
These sorts of community bike projects are an especially dear interest of mine because my first endeavor into public life was an effort at creating a “free bike” system at my “university”:http://uiuc.edu/. It didn’t work out, but the effort lives on in a bike co-op that is still running, “The Bike Project”:http://thebikeproject.org/. Thanks to “this article”:http://www.worldchanging.com/archives/006444.html from “World Changing”:http://www.worldchanging.com/ for keeping me up to date.