The free ‘mejor en bici’ scheme was set up to promote a healthy, sustainable and ecologically friendly way of travelling in Buenos Aires. After registering, people can ride the bikes around the city. The scheme has been running for a year and the number of people using it has doubled. There are similar schemes in 200 cities worldwide, which have proven to be successful.
The Argentina Independent talked to people in Plaza Italia about their views on the city’s free bicycle scheme. Photos by Celine Massa.
Esmeralda García, 27, tourist, Mexico
I think they are great. As a tourist, I have seen the city with these bikes, I use them every day. They definitely encourage people to do exercise and are much better than sitting on the bus. It wasn’t too hard for me to register as I am living with a family in an apartment here. I don’t really think that the cycling here is too dangerous either.
Osraldo Saccu, 72, retired, Las Caseras
For me, this is a good scheme. I have my own bike so I don’t need to use these bikes, though I know many people who do use them. They are especially useful for the centre of the city as there is so much traffic. I think there should be more bicycle docking stations all around the city to expand the use of the scheme.
Virginia Sanche, 39, housewife, Catamarca
I am definitely too scared to ride any bike in a city like Buenos Aires, it is very dangerous and I would be scared that I would fall off. I also look after my three year old son all the time so I could not ride a bike with him. However, I think that the programme is a good thing for our city; there are too many fumes and carbon monoxide emissions with all of the buses and cars.
Julio Lazo, 27, works as a street seller and in a distributing company, Flores
I think that bikes are a good way of enjoying the day, maybe in some parts of the city it is dangerous but many roads have marked bicycle paths now. The programme encourages people to enjoy sport and enables you to see the city in a different perspective. Personally, I have my own bike but I see many people using these bikes in the parks here. They should ensure that there are more docking stations across the city now.
Liliana Dziubecki, 17, student, Avellaneda
I prefer roller-skating here, cycling may be quite dangerous with all of the traffic in the city. Also, I have my own bike so I don’t need to use the free ones. Actually, I think that Macri should use the money for something different; the city needs to be improved in other ways besides a bike scheme. They should invest money in improving the quality of the streets and the schools primarily.