jueves, 14 de septiembre de 2017

Subsidize the Bicycles!

Would a public bikes program get pedestrians like these on Carrera 7 pedaling?
For the hundredth time, Bogotá is planning a public bicycle system.

In Lyon, France, public bikes wait for riders.
The last one, bidded out by Mayor Petro to a consortium consisting of a Colombian man with a history of corruption problems, and a Chinese company - neither of which had experience with bicycles - died a quiet and deserved death.

That plan also absurdly required the bicycle scheme to pay profits to the city. Around the world, even in cities much wealthier and with much more tourism than Bogotá, such bicycle systems either receive public subsidies or have deep-pocketed corporate sponsors.

Paris, France, public bicycles.
Now, Bogotá Mayor Peñalosa plans to try again. And this time the bikes will not be required to pay the city - but neither are they to receive public monies.

Motor vehicles burn subsidized fuel and often get free parking - which all of us pay for. And all of us pay the costs' of vehicle pollution's health and environmental impacts.

Bicyclists, on the other hand, don't pollute, occupy little space and benefit people's health. But in Bogotá, bicycles don't receive those subsidies.

Lodz, Poland's public bicycles.
Around the world, public bikes are seen as a benefit because they reduce pollution and traffic congestion and improve citizens' health. So, why does Bogotá see bikes as a business and expect them to pay for themselves?

Unfortunately, in a city like Bogotá with lots of poverty and relatively few tourists and deep-pocketed tourists, a public bicycle system is unlikely to survive on its own economics.

When will Bogotá, with its ambitions of being a cycling mecca, put its money where its mouth is?

Public bicycles in Zongshan, China.
by Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours

2 comentarios:

  1. Hi Mike! Do you know about the new bike sharing system MUVO for Bogotá? Its just starting with just 5 stations and planing to expand! Even though its a private company it is very inexpensive and the technology is great, operating though an app. Take a look at the website: www.muvo.bike or download the app at http://appstore.com/muvo. I hope this information is good for you! Kind regards and great blog!