Thousands of public bicycles to be available at bike stations set up around the city in bid to encourage Bogotanos to use public transit
City officials announced last week that Bogota is set to have its own public bicycle system in a couple of years.
The city government awarded a $3.4 billion COP ($1.4 million USD) contract to a joint Colombian-Chinese venture known as BiciBogota, to provide 2,851 new public bicycles at 13 bicycle stations spread around the city, as part of a bid to encourage Bogotanos to use public transportation.
The initiative is expected to be fully operational by 2018, according to reports.
Although BiciBogota’s initial bid was rejected because the originally proposed bikes did not meet specifications, they later presented evidence convincing the city to take their offer.
Bogota’s secretary of transport said there are clear standards in place, and should BiciBogota fail to comply, there will be financial penalties, local media reported.
The new bikes should start appearing in the city for use by the public as of June this year.
In a related development, a new mobile application gaining popularity in Bogota allows cyclists to share information and meet up with fellow cyclists, local media reported this week.
The Biko app allows cyclists to plan the most efficient route to their destination based on real-time updates about traffic and road conditions from its network of users, reports said.
By Steven Grattan