Mayor Mancera presents the new electric bicycles. Mayor Mancera presents the new electric bicycles.

Mexico City’s Ecobici to offer electric bikes

Shared bike service to install 28 charging stations for the 340 new bicycles

Mexico City’s shared bicycle program is going electric: users will soon have 28 new stations from which they can check out one of the 340 new electric bicycles to be offered by Ecobici.

Mexico City Mayor Miguel Ángel Mancera presented the new models yesterday, calling them unique in Latin America.

Mancera explained during celebrations of World Environment Day that installation of the new electric Ecobici charging stations will begin this month, a process that will finish by the end of September.

The electric bicycles will offer a “real, substantial benefit to three boroughs,” he said, “Miguel Hidalgo, Cuauhtémoc and Benito Juárez. The stations will be separated by about 2.5 kilometers.

Users will be able to plan their trips by consulting a map on a touch screen display in each of the stations, where they will also be able to charge their mobile devices.

The map is important, remarked the mayor, because the bicycles can only be turned in at similar charging-enabled stations.

The new bikes are equipped with manual brakes and gear shifts, and an electric motor than can easily tackle six-degree grades. Users will be able to double the average trip length, from eight kilometers with regular bikes, to more than 16 kilometers with the new version.

Environment Secretary Tanya Müller García said the current administration has built 44 kilometers of bikeways, two massive bicycle parking lots and five bicycle riding schools.

The Ecobici service is part of Mexico City’s broader transportation system, through which all transactions are performed with a card with which users can also pay for the subway or the Metrobús services, she added.

Mancera also announced that the regular Ecobici service will be expanding into the Granada, Verónica, Anzures and Lomas de Chapultepec neighborhoods, in the borough of Miguel Hidalgo.

Ecobici has 250,000 users who can check out one of 6,800 bicycles at 480 stations.

Ecobici plans are available for periods that range from one day to one year, and cost from 94 to 416 pesos (US $5 to 23).

Source: Milenio (sp)

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