THE MuyBici city bike scheme of Murcia is marking its second anniversary. Two years ago the first bikes and stations were installed, offering a sustainable and environmentally friendly way of residents and visitors to get around the city. Whilst some users have praised the “wonderful initiative” and commented on the “comfortable and welcome” service, they have also emphasised the lack of bicycle lanes in the city when compared to other cities with the same service, such as Sevilla or Barcelona.
Carlos Baile, manager of MuyBici, also recognised the need for the city to evolve along with the service and ensures that “the City Council are aware of this and have already put to work plans for more bike lanes.” The Department of Urbanism announced this week that the drafting and bidding of the projects for the new bike lanes in the city has already been carried out. One of them will start from the Mota del Rio passing through the town, with a length of 2km. The work will have a duration of four months. The second project approved will be a 7km length of cycle track along Avenidas del Reino de Murcia, Miguel Indurain and los Dolores.
The move is welcomed, but Baile adds that the company, which has a concession to run the system for 10 years, is still waiting for it to become profitable. The Town Hall does not charge or receive any payment for the operation of MuyBici. Baile said there are over 12,000 people paying to use the service, but the “repair of bicycles and stations is exorbitant.”
Between February 8 and 22, a total of 133 bicycles had to be repaired and another 105 were stolen or destroyed, leaving 22 of them in an unrecoverable state. To date, 100 are still missing.
The 60 stations and 600 bicycles of MuyBici are distributed throughout the city. But to survive the vandalism the concessionaire has asked the council to install video surveillance devices in the most troublesome areas.