The way Guadalajara moves is changing. Last week, the city opened the MiBici public bicycle system. Only the second bike-share system in Mexico after Mexico City’s Ecobici, MiBici offers Guadalajara residents an exciting new transport option. Capping off a year of impressive expansion of biking infrastructure in Guadalajara, the bike share makes it even easier for residents to enjoy and explore the city by bike.
As with many third generation public bicycle systems, the service enables point to point travel anywhere in the coverage zone by letting users pick up and drop off bikes at any station in the system. All stations are solar powered and integrated into their surroundings. Thanks to strong public input into station placement, excitement for the program is running high.
Currently, the system covers eight different neighborhoods in the city, including key places of interest and business. In addition, the system was designed to integrate with several other transit modes in the area, including light rail lines, bus routes, and the MacroBus BRT. The system opened with 86 stations and 860 bikes ready to use. It is estimated that there will be around 13,000 users and each bicycle will make 10 trips a day.
The Institute for Transportation and Development served as technical advisor to the city on the system. ITDP Mexico collaborated with the Secretariat of Urban Development and Housing Department of Agricultural, Territorial and Urban Development and the Jalisco State Undersecretariat of Planning on the selection of the coverage zone the location of stations, public participation processes, proposed improvements to the Law of Mobility and Transport, and system infrastructure. ITDP is also working with the local government on creating a slow zone through the historic center of Guadalajara.
The new bike share comes at the end of a big year for investment in cycling infrastructure in Guadalajara. The city has made significant progress adding bike lanes, and is one of the finalists for ITDP Mexico’s annual Ciclociudades (CycleCities) Award. Studies have shown that cities that add bike share see an increase in personal cycling too, as well as increased safety for all riders.
MiBici promotes urban cycling as an efficient, safe, and convenient transportation option in Guadalajara. The system improves access to goods and services and encourages the development of an active, vibrant city. “You can travel at your own pace,” explains a video (left) about the system “without waiting for transport, enjoying the ride and without worrying about parking.”
With the system up and running, Guadalajara plans to open the second stage of MiBici in February, adding bikes, stations, and coverage.