In summer 2014 the Madrid City Council launched a new electric bike sharing system (BiciMAD), becoming the first city in the world to offer it. For several years now Madrid has started a plan to promote public transport and reduce the high levels of pollution that blight the city.
Part of this project was the underground redirection of M30 Motorway, one of the main inner ring roads of the city. This now allows the regeneration and clean-up of the Manzanares River and adjacent areas (new affordable housing, footpaths, bike lanes, green park areas, fountains, etc.). Another important objective of the Government is to make Madrid a more bike-friendly city. To achieve this, the City Council has invested a lot of money to build bike lanes and launch a public service of electric bike rental (123 stations and more than 1,500 electric bikes).
Why Electric Bikes?
Legend has it that Muslims founded Madrid on seven hills, just like Rome. True or not, one thing is clear; Madrid is a city full of scary steep streets that hinder the use of the bike. Traffic jams at rush hours do not help either. This is the reason why the City Council chose these electric bikes which have a small pedaling assistant to make the experience more enjoyable. This assistant can be disabled if you prefer.
How does it work?
This service can be used by both residents and tourists. Non-residents must choose between three cards (1 day, 3 days or 5 days) which can be bought (ticket-dispensing machines) in every bike station. When purchasing these cards, you must enter your credit card and a refundable deposit (150€) will be charged. These cards allow you to use the electric bikes as many times as you want during the stipulated period of time (1, 3 or 5 days). You just have to insert the card into the slot and when the light starts flashing you can remove your bike. After this period, you will get back your deposit minus the rental rate.
Rates to Rent a Electric Bike in Madrid
First hour: 2€
Second hour: 4€
Penalization for exceeding this 2 hour period: 4€ per hour
These prices include accident insurance. According to Spanish law, people over 16 are not required to wear helmet in the centres of cities. Anyway we recommend wearing helmet to avoid head injuries. You can find more information about the public rental bike service on www.bicimad.com Bike Rental Companies in Madrid: if you prefer there are also private bike companies that offer a service tailored to tourists (maps, routes, English-speaking guides, audioguides, etc.).
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