The on again off again love affair with bike-sharing in Rome is on again. As of today, June 1, 2009, Roma’n’Bike was taken over by Rome’s Public Transport Company, Azienda Tranvie ed Autobus del Comune di Roma (ATAC) and rechristened, “atac bikesharing.” This odyssey chronicled in this blog: November 15, 2007: Roam around Rome, June 16, 2008 Bon Giorno, Roma and March 14, 2009 Cemusa closes Roma’n’Bike has been played out like a romance novel. Cemusa, the international advertising company is the jilted suitor, Rome’s Mayor, Gianni Alemanno embraces Bike-sharing then gives it the “cold shoulder,” while the citizens of Rome's efforts to nurture and grow the program have further embellished the story.
The new system will be strictly pay as you go! Expanded to operate 24 hours a day, each ½ hour is €0.50 with an initial €5.00 registration fee. There is no time gratis and are no subscription fees according to Wanted in Rome, an English language Roman information site. Not all are happy about losing the 30 minute free initial ride; inflammatory comments such as “the death of bike-sharing” are seen in the Italian Bike-Sharing Roma blog. Rather than the death of bike-sharing, this is another example of the trend to fund bike-sharing through a municipality or a service in the municipality. In Nice, France the regional government is funding the system. In Montréal, Canada the parking authority funds the system.
Update: July 23, 2009 - There are 150 ATAC bikes in 19 stations. The locations are: