Shared bicycle and moped services to double in Barcelona next year
The city council’s plan to award almost 11,000 new licenses is hoped to improve urban mobility
Barcelona will soon see twice the amount of shared moped and bicycles on its streets in the coming months. The city council has opened a public call for submissions from companies looking to apply for licenses to offer their motors and bikes on the streets of the Catalan capital, which will be necessary to operate in the city from January 1, 2020.
The city council is looking to award 6,958 licenses for mopeds and 3,975 for bicycles. These new vehicles in operation would see the current figure of shared services roughly double in the city, and bring the total number of shared mobility companies in operation in the city to seven for mopeds, and seven also for bicycles.
Companies can apply for a maximum of 2,319 in the case of mopeds and 1,325 licenses for bicycles, with the allocated numbers being divided between the organizations that meet the requirements.
Almost certainly, the demand for these shared services will skyrocket once the city’s planned low emissions zone comes into effect, limiting the number of cars that can drive through the streets of Barcelona.
According to Rosa Alarcón, the Barcelona councilor in charge of urban mobility who unveiled the shared services plan, the objective of this initiative is to “tidy up public space” by consolidating the pavement as a space for pedestrians, moving the rest of the vehicles to the road.
"We have a small city from the point of view of the public space and the idea is that we can regulate the road that will have to be shared by different vehicles," Alarcón explained, adding that "priority must be given to public transport" and that the regulation will also serve to promote road safety and efficient transport.
Businesses operating next year will have to ensure that more than 50% of their entire float is not concentrated in the city centre of Barcelona for more than two consecutive hours. This will mean that teams will need to be deployed to move the vehicles if too many are left in the areas of Ciutat Vella and Eixample.
The councilor also assured that any user of the bikes and mopeds found to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or who uses the vehicles to commit crimes, or who drives/cycles in a reckless manner will be banned from using the services of all bike and mopeds sharing companies.