This week, my story on Ecobici, D.F.’s bike-sharing system, came out. Despite its still-developing biking culture, Mexico City has fully embraced bike-sharing and its success provides a much-needed model for other major Latin American cities hoping to grow new forms of transportation.
I don’t have an Ecobici membership. But while reporting the story, I thought a fair amount about bikes and whether I should own one. I decided yes.
-I’m tired of wasting time walking.
-There are no other ways to move quickly around the city. D.F. seems to be making mostly smart transportation choices these days. Since I arrived, the local government has installed a whole new Metrobus line – with separate lanes for bus traffic – bringing the number up to three. And today, I had a entirely delightful trip to Santa Fe (the city’s uber corporate western hood) that lasted 35 minutes. That’s AMAZING. I had budgeted two hours. But I had never tested out this new route, and until the last minute, I planned to take another bus – or series of buses, depending on how fast they came. Instead, I grabbed one of these guys – the new “Ruta Verde” – and bam, before I knew it, the trip was over. That said, very frequently, the city’s main corridors just seem stuffed. There’s no quick solution for just too many people trying to move around. There needs to be fewer vehicles period, and a bus is still a vehicle.*
-Bikes seem trendy now here. And I want to add to that. People are very car-obsessed here. Bike > car. That’s better.
* None of this means I’m not swearing off all other non-bike transportation. Just more bike trips.