Sunday, July 1, 2007

Biking with Bicing in Barcelona

Getting around Barcelona got more interesting with the introduction of “bicing” in April. The word “bicing” is an adaptation of the word “bicycling” and is used as the name for BCN’s latest addition to public transport. It’s great: sign-up via the interent, pay a small annual fee (24 euros), receive a member card a couple of days later and then use it to “check out” a bike for up to two hours at a time. The first 30 minutes are free. If you use the bike longer you pay 30 cdents for each half hour.

So, this afternoon I used the system to get to and from for my routine outing for Sunday lunch over the El Pais newspaper. I grabbed a bike from a stand a few blocks from my apartment and rode it to another stand located near one of my favorite seaside restaurants. A few hours later I collected another bike from the stand and rode it back to the stand in my neighborhood. There are five stands within walking distance of my apartment!

This bicycle lending service is integrated into the city’s bus and subway system. As I said earlier, it’s only been available for a few months and it is already extremely popular. The overwhelming success of the program surprised its developers. I read somewhere that they had projected 15, 000 people signing up by the end of the year. However, 30,000 people subscribed in the first 2 months!

I have been using the system for getting to work as well as for pleasure rides. Of course, since I teach at various locations around the city each day, it’s not possible to ride a bike to all of my classes. However, when a trip to a class involves a bus ride and a transfer to the metro, I can often substitute a bike ride for that bus ride and at least part of the metro ride. It is nice to be out in the open air instead of on a bus or down in the metro. (Although Barcelona’s bus and metro system is very good.) Another pleasant aspect is that since Barcelona is such a style concious city, the bikes and their stands are very nicely designed.Here’s a link to the English version of the Bicing web site:

Barcelona is a pretty progressive place. Well, all of Spain is, really. I am fortunate to live in this country.

5 Responses

By: In Today’s News: David Beckham Ends Madrid Stint with a League Title « My Spain Blog on June 18th, 2007 at 11:29 pm […] Bicing, Barcelona’s public transport by bicycle program, now has over 50,000 subscribers! […]
By: Pedalling Along on June 19th, 2007 at 4:33 pm
[…] I think if the planets are alligned, people would be willing to give it a try. I ran across this entry about a new bike service in Barcelona, Spain that is taking off. Could you imagine dedicating […]
By: pixelus on June 20th, 2007 at 5:36 pm
How I wish this was already existing when I lived in Barcelona a long time ago!
By: Carloz on June 20th, 2007 at 10:27 pm
Well, come back, Pixelus!
[…] Then I thought, hey, I always stay here in Barceloneta for San Juan. But I wonder what’s happening even further up the beach? Even to the other end? And then I knew how to find out — Bicing, the Barcelona public transit system’s bicycle lending service! (See June 17th post, Biking with Bicing in Barcelona.) […]

Copied from original posting by Carloz on 17 June, 2007

1 comment:

valugi said...

El bicing no funciona como deberia. It doesn't work as it should.
Read an analysis here, froms somebody who used the service for a couple of months already
¿Se ha desinflado Bicing?