Rome is stepping into the 21st Century bike-sharing world with the launch of its own service. The Spanish infrastructure company, FCC, and its outdoor advertising subsidiary, Cemusa, will be providing the service with the Italian Bicincitta' technology, which is used in 15 locations throughout Italy.
AFP reports, "The pilot programme, with an initial length of six months, will include 250 bicycles and 22 stations in the historic centre of Rome," with the eventual goal of reaching Paris' 20,000 bikes.
"Travelling in the centre of Rome will be easier, faster, economical and environmentally sound with the experimental bike-sharing programme," said Rome Mayor Walter Veltroni in FCC's press release.
This is great news however Rome is not known to be bike-friendly. In fact, Rome is known to be hostile towards bikes and pedestrians. The city realizes this and is beginning to create improved bike facilities. On a visit there in June, I came across a cycle track (separated bike facility) under construction in the neighborhood north of the Vatican. Being Rome, it looked like the curbs were made of a high-quality marble instead of the standard concrete. Bellissimo!
image: Colosseum - Wikipedia, Cycle track - Paul DeMaio