Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Feliz Cumpleaños ECOBICI & Joyeux Anniversaire VCUB

The end of February brings the first anniversary of two very successful bike-sharing systems. One in Europe and the other in North America. Both have exceeded usage expectations of their respective city governments and are planning to grow.

ECOBICI - Mexico City, Mexico; Born: February 16, 2010

It was an immediate success in the heavily auto congested Colonia Condesa, Juárez, and Cuauhtémoc areas of the Federal District. Within a few months the coverage area was expanded to include parts of the Historical Center of the city. In the first year ECOBICI was used 1.2 million times. There are around 25,000 registered yearly subscribers to the Clear Channel system of 1,200 bikes and 90 stations. These subscribers use the bikes an average of 9,000 times daily with a median trip of around 20 minutes.

According to, at the First Anniversary Celebration, Mayor Ebrard and Clear Channel announced that the service will add 1,700 more bikes and 110 more stations before the end of 2011. It also plans to have a total of 4,000 bikes and 275 stations by the end of 2012.

V³ - Bordeaux, France; Born: February 20, 2010

Like the wines of this region, it was a good year for the experiment to make buses, trams, and bikes seamlessly interconnected in and around Bordeaux. With 1,545 bikes of
VCUB (Vélos for the Community of Urban Bordeaux) being used around 5,000 times a day, over 1.6 million trips have been taken this first year. Another measure of success is that 75% of subscribers have signed up for the full transit option, not just the bikes. Interestingly, in a survey 50% of 13,000 subscribers indicated they owned their own bike. According to SudOuest, during the beginning of the service, bike store operators were not enthusiastic of the program, but now have seen an increase in demand for new bikes since there are more people accustomed to riding in the city. The operating company, Keolis, also operates the region's buses and trams.

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