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What Is The Real Capital Of Public Bicycles in Latin America?

The public bicycle system is booming in the world, and in Latin America it is also gaining strength. Here we tell you what is the capital of this service in terms of cost.

bicycles parked on the street

Photo: Pexels

LatinAmerican Post | Vanesa López Romero

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Leer en español: ¿Cuál es la verdadera capital de las bicicletas públicas en Latinoamérica?

The popularity of the public bicycle system, also known as the shared bicycle system, has grown exponentially in the last two decades. Its beginning dates back to 1964 in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, known as the bicycle capital of the world, not only because 40% of trips in this city are made by this means of transport, but also because of its infrastructure, which has been adapted for the comfort of bike users.

France implemented the service in the 1970s, more regulated than the one in Amsterdam and which generated more positive impact. Denmark and England implemented it in the 1990s and Spain in the 2000s. Today, Spain is known as the country with the most shared bike services in the world, along with China.

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What about Latin America?

The first public bicycle services were carried out in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and in Santiago de Chile, in 2008. Here we tell you a little more about the capitals of the main Latin American countries that have this service and its cost compared to the SMLMV (Current legal monthly minimum wage) of each country. It should be noted that in the capitals of Chile, Argentina, Brazil and Colombia, the operations of shared bicycle services are managed by Tembici, from Itaú.

In Santiago de Chile, the Chilean capital, the most popular public bicycle service is BikeSantiago, which today has 2,200 bicycles in 14 communes and is used by approximately 25,000 people. It has a daily, monthly or annual subscription. The latter costs $33.96 USD, that is, 0.67% of the annual SMLMV in Chile, which is $5,088.00 USD.

In CDMX (Mexico City), the capital of Mexico, Ecobici began operating in February 2010 and today has 6,800 mechanical bicycles distributed in 480 stations and 340 electric bicycles with assisted pedaling distributed in 28 high-tech cycle stations. In addition, it has an application for iOS and Android. Your subscription can be daily, for three days, weekly or yearly. The latter has a value of $21.82 USD, which is equivalent to 0.81% of the annual SMLMV in Mexico, which by 2022 is $2,681.4 USD.

In the case of Buenos Aires, Argentina, the EcoBici service began operations in March 2018, and today it has more than 16,000 bicycles in the city and more than 3 million users. EcoBici has 10 subscriptions, one of them free, for 4 trips a week each of 30 minutes. Its intensive annual subscription is $72.98 USD, which is equivalent to 1.73% of the annual SMLMV in the country, which is $4,218 USD.

The Brazilian capital, Brasilia, is beginning to implement the Tembici service, which has more than 500 shared bikes in 70 pilot stations. Your subscriptions can be one-time, daily and yearly. The annual one has a cost of $34.72 USD, that is, 1.52% of the annual SMLMV, which is $2,269.78 USD. It should be noted that Tembici has its services already well established in other cities of the country, such as Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo and Porto Alegre.

Finally, Bogotá, the capital of Colombia, recently also started operations with Tembici. It has 1,500 mechanical bicycles, 1,500 electric bicycles, 150 manocletos, 150 bicycles with drawers and more than 300 stations distributed throughout the city. It has 5 different subscriptions: one day for mechanics, one day for electrical, daily, monthly and annual. The last one has a value of $41.62 USD, which is equivalent to 1.59% of the annual minimum wage, which is $2,602.44 USD.

Thus, Santiago de Chile is the city that offers the best public bicycle service in relation to its cost. Bogotá is in last place on this list.