When we talk about the cycling culture in an urban city, Amsterdam in the Netherlands probably first comes to mind or Copenhagen in Denmark or Berlin in Germany. Basically, you’d think of a city somewhere in Europe. However, do you know that Buenos Aires, Argentina actually has been quietly modernizing its city landscape and introducing bicycles as a viable and accessible means for everyday transportation? The city’s effort is finally paying off, not only slowly transforming the city into a more livable place but also making a mark in the world’s stage for its urban planning. The City of Buenos Aires has been recognized and newly added to the 2015 Copenhagenize’s Bike-Friendly Index and not just that, it has cracked the Top 20 and landed on the 14th spot placed among all the European ‘elites’ for bicycle urbanism. That’s some achievement we’d say!
This of course didn’t happen overnight. The “ecobici” project, as part of a city-wide Movilidad Sustentable campaign (sustainable mobility) began in July 2009. Since then over 150 miles of bicycle infrastructure has been implemented, and a bike-share program which has been systematically put in place and grown from attendant rental stations only available on weekdays to now having 24/7 automated self-park stations all over the city. The best part? This bike-share program is absolutely free, for both citizens and visitors! You just need to register online (instructions for tourists go HERE), download their app on your smartphone and you can start renting bikes using the app. Each bike rental has a time limit of 1 hour on weekdays and 2 hours on weekends and public holidays. For station locations, bike availability, bike lane map etc., you can find all these info on their Ecobici website. Even though the ecobici has already been with us for a few years and that people in Buenos Aires are getting used to sharing the roads with cyclists and the bicycle system, the culture is still a relatively new one. It is a work in progress no doubt, with rooms for improvements. That also goes without saying that Buenos Aires is still a big busy city with dense car traffic, so before you hop on a bike, make sure you also check out our tips on biking in Buenos Aires. As with where to go, here are our recommendations on some best areas to visit on your two wheels. More information about our Spanish School in Buenos Aires