EMT Madrid strengthens BiciMAD project with additional bicycles and user assistance
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Posted: 4 April 2023 | Intelligent Transport | No comments yet
EMT Madrid is expanding its BiciMAD project to all 21 districts of Madrid, while implementing a 10-point plan to address improper uses, including abandoned bicycles outside stations.
Credit: EMT Madrid
The Empresa Municipal de Transportes de Madrid (EMT Madrid) has announced that it will continue to expand the BiciMAD project to the 21 districts of Madrid, six more than at present.
The complete renewal of the system will culminate in the first semester of 2023, with 611 operating stations and 7,500 bicycles distributed throughout the city. During this complex process, the Madrid City Council has opted to keep the service operational and free of charge for users until 31 July 2023. Both the old and new systems will co-exist until EMT Madrid has finished removing the 264 stations and 2,964 original bikes.
On 7 March 2023, EMT Madrid began deploying the new BiciMAD vehicles while the previous ones still co-existed, so that citizens could continue using the system without limitations during this stage.
EMT Madrid has recorded a very high incidence of improper uses, up to 20%. These improper uses have involved the abandoning of bicycles outside the physical bases of the system. These abandoned bicycles are now out of service and are the cause of the drop in the availability of units in the BiciMAD stations.
In order to solve these problems and strengthen the system, EMT Madrid had activated an action plan on 27 March 2023, which has been extended to date with a 10-point list of measures. These measures aim to reinforce information for users about the new system and to guarantee the presence of bicycles in the stations.
Furthermore, EMT Madrid has also strengthened existing communication for users, stressing the obligation to park bicycles, both new and old, only at stations. As of 31 March 2023, EMT Madrid has placed 50 street informers at 50 stations to provide support and information to the user on how to make correct use of the bicycle and enjoy free use until 31 July. They will have leaflets to give instructions for use to anyone who needs it. The operators, uniformed with dark green jackets, will offer their services from 08:00 to 20:00 in the BiciMAD stations with the greatest demand and where there have been more incidents in the last three weeks. They will be located at the bases of 13 districts.
EMT Madrid has also increased abandoned bicycle collection teams by 40% and will triple them in the coming days. Of the 21 people who had initially existed, 60 troops will be reached. In addition, the hundred inspectors who are distributed throughout the city will also be provided with BiciMAD cards to close the locks of the dispersed bicycles that are found, allowing their location for immediate collection.
To minimise improper use of the system, EMT has already begun temporarily suspending the accounts of users who repeatedly abandon bicycles in locations other than BiciMAD stations. Similarly, the billing of trips whose duration exceeds 30 minutes is being strictly enforced, as stipulated in the free conditions.
Furthermore, with the aim of ensuring bicycles are available throughout the year, an additional 150 bicycles have already been added to the service and the reduction in the co-existence phase of the two models has begun, intensifying and prioritising work on the withdrawal of the old BiciMAD system, a measure that will simplify its use.
With the new BiciMAD, anchoring and un-anchoring bicycles is more simple as the bases have a light code that makes it easier for the user to know the status of the bicycle – the red light means that the bike is not available or has not been anchored correctly, the yellow light is a temporary light, while the system executes the user’s request, and the green light turns on when the bicycle is available to be unanchored or when it is correctly anchored in the base.
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Empresa Municipal de Transportes de Madrid (EMT Madrid), EMT Madrid