posted 20/03/2012 at 15:33 h. - Meritxell Doncel -
As of 2013 a new tariff system will also be introduced that distinguishes between occasional and regular uses.
On the fifth anniversary of the Bicing scheme, the Second Deputy Mayor, Sonia Recasens, has announced that the City Council has started negotiations to introduce a sponsorship system later this year that will help to reduce the system's deficit and will include a free space reserved for non-profit organisations who work with the City Council.
The brand name will be visible at the stations, both on the anchor bars and the ground, as well as some parts of the bicycles.
The Council's aim is to reduce its contribution to the system, as it currently covers 77% of the cost, increase income and at the same time, improve and increase the use of the service.
In fact, this winter, the Bicing bicycle hire scheme has a record use with an average of 47,200 uses a day, compared to 38,000 in 2011.
"We will significantly reduce the cost per journey, offering more services and more uses while reducing the cost per use", explained Recasens, who added that the Bicing scheme "is a well-established transport system, that is sustainable, efficient, solid and an international benchmark".
New tariffs from 2013 and improvements to the bikes
Recasens also announced that from 2013 a new tariff system will be introduced, replacing the current single tariff of 45 euros per year. "It will be fairer because it will distinguish between occasional and regular uses of the scheme", she said.
100,000 bike journeys are currently made each day in Barcelona, half of which on the Bicing scheme.
The number of subscribers has stabilised and currently stands at 122,000, although more use is made of the service, a fact that the Council attributes to the latest improvements that havebeen introduced, such as the extension of the night-time hours from midnight to 2 am (with 800 daily uses) the 18% increase in the morning replacement of bikes, a new computer system and the e-Bicing app.
New improvements are also being made to the bicycles, such as new, more efficient brake drums, new brake levers and more resistant mudguards. The use of puncture-resistant tyres is also being looked in to.
The development of the Bicing scheme over the last five years has been spectacular and the number of bikes has risen from 1,500 at the start to the current number of 6,000, while the number of stations has risen from 94 to 420.
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