jueves, 19 de febrero de 2015

Bike rentals expand in Mexico City, now fourth network worldwide

The mayor of Mexico City praised the city's bicycle rental system on its fifth anniversary on 16 February, and boasted that the network was now the fourth biggest in the world, after Hangzhou, London and Paris. The city has taken a range of measures in past years to cut traffic and pollution, including boosting public transport and promoting residential property in the city center, which would reduce commuting. Mayor Miguel Ángel Mancera was speaking at the ECOBICI rental system's expansion into a third, southern sector of the city, Benito Juárez. He said the city now had 444 bike stations and 6,500 bicycles operating in 42 neighbourhoods or colonias. "We are going to keep reinforcing and pushing for bicycle use in Mexico City," Milenio cited him as saying. The ECOBICI rental system estimated that use of its bicycles in 2010, 2011 and 2012 had in total saved 232 tonnes of CO2 emissions, equivalent to planting 697 trees. Yet cycling remains hazardous in this car-dominated megalopolis, and biking associations earlier asked the city's Environment Secretary Tanya Müller to act to ensure safer cycling, including by forcing the city's sometimes ramshackle, and often intimidating, minibuses to drive sensibly. The newspaper Excelsior separately reported the first act of vandalism against a bicycle station inaugurated in Benito Juárez, suspected to have been the work of local residents who had lost their habitual "parking space" to bicycles.