The 7 novelties of the new Bicing service
The new Bicing will begin to be seen on the streets of Barcelona from January 8, 2019. That day will be just a hundred bikes and a couple of stations, the next day a few more and so until April when it will be the service fully implemented. During a period of about four months, the new stations will be installed with the corresponding bicycles while the current ones are being eliminated.
Barcelona City Council has opted to make a gradual replacement without interrupting the action, unlike what other European cities have done when they have undertaken a change of concessionary company public bicycle service, which have preferred to paralyze the service for several weeks.
Users can use the two systems while the transformation process is extended, although old bicycles should be left in the stations that are left of the previous system and if the new system is chosen it will only be possible to park in one of the newly installed stations. The deputy mayor of Urbanism and Mobility, Janet Sanz, asks for “understanding and empathy to the users” during those weeks of transition. As compensation for the inconvenience, the subscribers will have a free month.
The deployment of the new Bicing will involve the installation of 95 new stations that will be added to the existing 424 and distributed throughout the ten districts of the city. There will be 17 new stations in Horta-Guinardó, 16 in Nou Barris, 14 in Gràcia and 13 in Sant Martí. The largest increase will occur in those areas where so far did not arrive, but first will be the replacement of existing and new will not arrive until after the second half of April.
“Barrios such as Vallcarca, Trinitat Nova and Ciutat Meridiana, in which there was no Bicing, now finally have stations,” said Janet Sanz during the presentation ceremony.
Lastly, the new rate is not designed for tourists or punctual visitors as it will be necessary to register in advance and wait for the card to arrive home for a few weeks, as happens with the current season tickets.
To sum up, here are the 7 new features introduced to the Bicing service:
1. Bicing all day. Unlike what happens now (the service can not be used from 2 to 5 am on weekdays and Friday, weekend and holidays from 3 to 5), the service will work 24 hours a day. And it will be like this 365 days a year.
2. There will be Bicing throughout the city. In total there will be 519 stations, of which 95 will be new.
3. More electric bikes. If now there are only 300 electric-type bicycles, as of May there will be 1,000. A noticeable increase with respect to the previous figure. There will be 6,000 mechanical bicycles.
4. A station for both. Unlike what happens now – one station for the mechanics and one for the power stations – there will be only one station for both.
5. New bikes. There will be new more robust bikes, with better brakes, more comfortable, lighter and with the aluminum frame.
6. Advance booking. Early booking will be activated, something that many have been asking for a long time. Now you can book your bike 5 minutes before taking it.
7. Single tariff model. There are two types of fare. The first will cost 50 euros and will include the two models. For the mechanical bike, if you exceed 30 minutes, you will have to pay 70 additional cents. In the case of the electric bike, 35 cents for use less than 30 minutes and 90 after exceeding it. The second tariff will cost € 35, but the cost per use is increased even in the case of the mechanical bicycle.
Photo credits: www.bicing.cat