Image credits: SEMOVI
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News Article

Mexico City’s Bet on Bicycles Now Visible on Google Maps

By Alejandro Enríquez | Fri, 07/24/2020 - 13:55

As the city battled the pandemic, SEMOVI bet on "emerging bike lanes" that grew provisionally the bike infrastructure in the city by running along different avenues to offer mobility alternatives to users. If people lacked a bike, the government lent them one for free. The program ended on June 1 and SEMOVI has presented the results. Almost 700 daily rides were made in public bicycles. "To continue the transition to the new normal and to continue promoting the use of the bicycle, ECOBICI has a six-month membership for MX$120 (US$5.38), 50 percent less than the usual amount," said SEMOVI on a statement. All these new policies to promote bicycle use also target sustainable mobility within the city.

The temporary bike lane in Insurgentes avenue runs 54km parallel to Metrobús Line 1 in both directions. A few days after its inauguration, Mexico City's Chamber of Deputies approved with 17 votes against 1 to make the bike lane permanent, while expanding the program to other avenues. In SEMOVI's report, the route registered a 170 percent increase in use since its inauguration.

ECOBICI On Google Maps

SEMOVI has also bolstered its partnerships to make bicycles easier to use. ECOBICI, the city's public bicycle system, will be visible on Google Maps for users to plan trips based on the location of bike stations. "In the upcoming days, users will be able to see bicycles' availability and the closest stations to their origin and destination, as well as the optimal route and estimated time of arrival," said SEMOVI on a statement.

This project was mostly due to the open data policy SEMOVI and ECOBICI had through the Public Innovation Digital Agency (ADIP) and is now part of the same platform that Google offers to other 30 cities in the world.

According to SEMOVI, ECOBOCI is "one of the most important bike-sharing systems in the world and the greatest in Latin America." The program has 6,500 bikes in operation and 480 stations in three municipalities within the city. In 2021, ECOBOCI will expand to 10,000 bicycles and 750 stations covering other areas of the city.

Photo by:   SEMOVI
Alejandro Enríquez Alejandro Enríquez Journalist and Industry Analyst