|Waiting in the rain. Public bikes await riders by Virrey Park.|
But if only the program were all it could be.
Yesterday afternoon I visited Virrey Park, where the 40-odd free lending bikes were mostly sitting still - understandably, in the chill and rain. City workers told me that they lent about 40 bikes on a typical day - which is nice, altho it's an expensive way to get people pedaling, considering the wages of the eight employees I counted, plus all the other costs.
Meanwhile, on the program's Carrera Septima corridor, the bicycles are getting steady use.
|Bikes in the National University campus. |
Hop on - but only if you study art or engineering.
So, if you're an artist, then grab a bike. But if you study nursing, political science or chemistry, then you're out of luck, unless you registered for the bike program on your own.
But the program has a larger shortcoming. The IDRD's mission is to promote recreation. But the great majority of the bikes' borrowers use them for transport, albeit for short distances. But, frustratingly, users are only permitted to use bikes within each of the three lending areas, but not to pick up a bike from one area and drop it off in another.
|Riders on public bikes on Carrera Septima in central Bogotá. |
But don't think about riding them to one of the
other lending sites.
With Bogotá's long-promised public bicycles program stuck in idle, the IDRD could step in and do both the city and cycling a great favor by making its program a practical commuting option.
|A bicyclist on the Carrera 11 Cicloruta passes public lending bikes in Virrey Park. Public bike users could take this bike lane to downtown - but leaving the park is against the rules.|