Friday, April 25, 2014

Viu Bicing, Vodafone in Barcelona

 A bike rack
For Viu Bicing in Barcelona.  Today is the letter V as we move through our A-Z challenge (if you want a V location post, here's several for Virginia...Richmond, Monticello, Arlington National Cemetery, Williamsburg, and more.
We saw these strange bikes everywhere while we were in Barcelona.  Viu Bicing is a bike sharing program that began in March of 2007 in Barcelona.  It has moved about Europe, to Germany, Netherlands, and Italy as a means to reduce traffic and carbon dioxide emissions in busy cities, reduce noise and it seems to be very popular.  You purchase a pre-paid smart pass annually, and with a swipe of a card can slide a bike out to use.  They are meant for short distances, to supplement public transportation for the locals.

There are 420 stations and close to 100,000 members in Barcelona.  Vodafone (a mobile wallet app) is now involved giving members the ability to track their distance, average speed, and emissions saved.  The first 30 minutes of use are at no additional cost beyond the membership.  Each subsequent half hour has a charge and can be used up to 2 hours.  They are meant for short distances and therefore you are in fact penalized if you hit 2 hours, and your membership can be revoked if you hit 2 hours too many times.

You do not need to return the bic to the same location where you collected it.  Example you hop off the city bus or metro, hop on a VIU bic and ride 3 more blocks, park it and go to work.  When you slide the bike back in the rack, it is identified and locked until the next person/member slides their card.  They are meant for 1 way transportation.

What a great idea, too bad the US doesn't get on board with something like that, then again we don't have good public transportation in most areas either.  Not only is this a means to control noise, traffic and emissions, think of the wonderful on going exercise you'd get.

**After the close of April's A-Z, I plan to continue to write a post a day in the month of May using again the A-B-C's as my guide.  My focus for the month of May will be Spain.  I've been planning and almost have every letter thought out.  If others are interested in continuing to blog daily using our A-B-C's, please let me know.  We could start a linky and continue what we've begun during April.  I don't imagine it will be anywhere near the scope of the annual April Challenge.  But, if you're interested, please let me know in your comment.  And even if you're not up for another blog challenge, do stop back in, I have much to share from recent travels to Spain.**

If you're a new follower, please let me know so I can reciprocate.


  1. We had a similar thing here in my town a few years ago. It wasn't set up this elaborately with a slide card and all. And it was free. Problem was, as you would expect, the bikes kept disappearing. Unfortunately doing something like this and expecting trust to be a good thing just doesn't work!!

  2. Sandy, We also saw these bikes everywhere in Barcelona. I thought at first they were meant for tourists, but really I only saw locals using them. I wasn't there long enough to find out how it works. I agree with you. It's a fantastic idea!

  3. There are actually bike sharing programs in Boston and Washington,DC. They are not as common here in the US which is probably why not too many people know about them. They are a great way to see the city and work off those holiday calories! :) Dropped by for A-Z.


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