Tag Archive: Madrid

  1. Madrid City Council announces free ebike service

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    Source: El Pais, M. Viejo

    Free BiciMad service announced in run up to municipal elections.

    With Madrid’s municipal elections approaching, Mayor José Luis Martínez-Almeida has announced that the city’s BiciMad public electric bike service will be free from March 7 to July 31 in an unparalleled move to secure favour. The cost of this announcement is expected to amount to 1.7million euros, according to city sources.

    According to the Department of Environment and Mobility, the scheme will be implemented to “encourage cycling mobility in the capital and that citizens can know first-hand the advantages offered by the new public electric bicycle system”. The BiciMad service, now in its eighth year, will expand and cater for all 21 districts, served by the gradual development of new stations and 7,500 new bikes. The budget for the development is 48.8 million euros, of which 60% is by way of European funding.

    The BiciMad service has not been without criticism since its launch. It was reported that 30% of the bikes were not functioning in an August 2021 statement, a period when Director of Mobility Services for the City Council acknowledged, “We’re not going through our best moment”. A report published by eldiario.es in February 2022 stated that 11,000 subscribers had in fact unsubscribed from the service, although there have been some improvements.

    European funding criticism

    There has been some notable disapproval of European funding by Almeida, who in February 2021 announced to a wealth of national media correspondents in Brussels that “The management of European funds must be strengthened!”. Visiting as commander-in-chief of the mayors of the People’s Party (PP), he further exclaimed, “An arbitrary distribution is taking place. I insist, this does not harm the PP, this harms Spaniards. Here we are all equal before the law. We all have to overcome this pandemic and European funds are crucial to do so regardless of where you live and govern. This is what we have done and said in the EU institutions”. However, only two days later, El Pais reported that Almeida renounced tens of millions of euros that were destined to aid Madrid’s housing reforms.

    Bike use on Madrid’s roads

    One component missing from Madrid’s road network are cycle paths. In contrast to many other European cities including several in Spain, in Madrid there is only kilometre of cycle path for every hundred kilometres of public roads – 15% less than Barcelona, for example. Drivers in the Spanish capital are required to adhere to a 30kph speed limit when orbiting a cyclist, although this is largely neglected and a common complaint amongst those using pedal power. Those cities with a higher number of cyclists are deemed safer to use and report an increase in bike use, Seville’s 7% rise being a good example.

    Architect Belén Moneo, who participated in the mobility tables of the City Council, commented to El Pais, “Madrid has not yet shown that it believes in the bike project,”, while despairing remarks came from Esther Anaya at Imperial College London, a professor specialising in urban mobility: “It’s not for lack of technical knowledge. It’s a political issue”.

    The 100% discount on the electric bike service begins on March 7 and concludes on July 31.

  2. LEVA-EU member Dott secures contract to operate e-scooter service in Madrid

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    Source: Micromobilitybiz, A. Ballinger

    The micromobility fleet provider joins Tier and Lime in deploying a sizeable joint fleet of 6,000 vehicles throughout the city.

    Announced in late 2022, Madrid City Council launched its first tender for shared e-scooters in the city. It is now confirmed that the bid has been won by the providers Dott, Tier and Lime collectively. Initial contracts are for an operating time of 3 years, with the potential for extensions in increments of 6 months following the initial period.

    Dott already maintains a fleet of e-bikes in Madrid, which have been operating since March 2021, and provides micromobility services to many key European cities including London, Rome, Stockholm, Brussels and Paris. In Madrid, the brand will be introducing completely new e-scooters, featuring large (12”) wheels for stability, front, rear and indicator lights, and a phone holder.

    Maxim Romain, co-founder and COO of Dott, said: “The launch in Madrid marks a turning point for our service in Spain, and a major increase in the number of vehicles we operate there as we bring efficient, safe and environmentally friendly transport to the capital city. We will bring our experience of collaborating closely with city authorities across Europe to ensure that we offer a reliable service for our riders whilst respecting all other road users and pedestrians.” 

  3. Major upgrade for Madrid’s shared e-bike fleet

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    Source: TheMayor.eu, T.V. Iolov

    The city’s e-bike service is seeing extensive development, from rebranding, to payment updates, to anti-vandalism measures. The changes come as Madrid continues to work towards fully unlocking the potential of cycling.

    José Luis Martínez-Almeida, the Mayor of Madrid, has unveiled the newly upgraded iteration of Bicimad, the city’s public electrical bicycle system. Firstly, the network is working towards featuring a total 7,500 e-bikes and 611 stations, reaching all 21 districts of the city. Additionally, the new E-FIT model will be made of recycled aluminium, presenting a more manageable, ergonomic and robust design that substantially improves the user experience.

    Key upgrades:

    • Anti-vandalism design: Tires feature an anti-puncture design, an anti-theft system is integrated into the chassis, and all wires and lights are now integrated into the frame.
    • Maintenance: Bicycles anchored in a parking point are permanently monitored, with physical buttons available for users to indicate that maintenance is required.
    • Payment system upgrade: Payments are now possible through MPass, the system associated with buses, car parks etc. in the city.
    Image: TheMayor.eu
  4. Madrid expands e-bike service

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    Source: TheMayorEU, T.V. Iolov

    Authorities are eager to continue the city’s development into a truly cycling-friendly location.

    In 2014, the BiciMAD scheme launched in Madrid, a 100% electric bicycle public service. Now, close to 10 years after its launch, the service will expand into all of the capital’s districts during 2023. This updated service is in line with the ambitious Madrid 360 Environmental Strategy.

    18 million euros is provided to the project by the municipality, with a further 30 million euros provided by the European Union’s Next Generation fund; these resources will be used for the renewal of the e-bike fleet, parking stations, and digital software. The parking points where bikes can be picked up and dropped off will more than double – from 264 to 611, and 4,600 two-wheelers will be added for a total of 7,500 available to residents and guests of the city.

    A particularly noteworthy software update is the development of non-permanent virtual parking stations, which will be used to cover specific large events or quickly service high-demand areas. In a lively city such as Madrid, this allows the service to properly cater to an area’s evolving needs.

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