? Yesterday, the Ibiza island council (Consell d’Eivissa) announced their support for a brand new initiative to introduce a public shared bicycle hire scheme here on the White Isle. ?
Public bicycle hire Ibiza
The aim is to install around 60 public bicycle stations around Ibiza, with priority locations including disused car parks, sports centres, educational establishments, health centres, bus stations, busy tourist areas and pedestrian zones in urban shopping areas.
This kind of initiative has proved hugely popular and successful in many European cities, with public bicycle hire schemes in London, Dublin, Barcelona and Paris becoming huge success stories. Popular too in China, where such schemes are extremely low-cost to users, public bicycle hire initiatives are seen as a way to provide a low-cost and environmentally sustainable alternative to fossil-fuel powered transport.
It remains to be seen how much such a scheme will cost users here in Ibiza. Public bicycle hire schemes vary enormously in price, ranging from less than €25 per year in Dublin & Madrid for limitless annual use, to over £90 in London and a whopping £131 in New York. Users can usually pay an alternative daily rate too – much better for visitors. In other cities, daily prices range from less than £0.70 in Barcelona, to an eye-watering £9.60 per day, once again in New York. The good news it seems is that Spain is on the more affordable end of the scale.
On the other hand, Spain has seen the biggest number of failed initiatives. Of the 130 schemes that launched in Spain before 2010, according to Researcher Alberto Castro Fernandez of the Observatorio de la Bicicleta Pública, around 65 public bike hire start-ups have since closed, with 50% doing bust within just three years of opening.
A recent study by Bikeplus into the UK’s burgeoning public bike-hire schemes showed such schemes don’t only provide benefits to the environment. 13% of users were inspired to start to cycle because the initiative provided the opportunity, whilst 37% said they had increased the amount they regularly cycled. This has, in turn, has led to a general feeling of increased health and well-being amongst users and a substantial saving on other transport options, such as using a car or taxi.
Smell the flowers
Here at Boats Ibiza, we think that anything that encourages people to get out into that beautiful, rosemary scented air and see the island’s natural beauty is very welcome indeed. Not to mention anything that would help relieve congestion on those packed out Ibiza summer roads. Grab a bike. Take the scenic route. Take your time, smell the flowers. You’re on holiday!
More news on this as we hear it. Bring on the bicycles we say. Oo aaarrr!
Words | Jane C Lead Image | Héctor Ponce Paz
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