I don’t recall where I first heard the argument that bicycle sharing programs were essentially public transit, just more tailored for individual freedom and need. But I certainly liked the concept. São Paulo is probably not the first, but it’s the first I can think of that takes that concept and runs with it. The Brazilian city of 11 million (the eighth-largest city in the world and the largest in the southern hemisphere) is planning to have a city transit pass include access to the bike sharing program.
Additionally, the city is trying to plan the bike sharing system to integrate well with the rest of the city’s transportation system. And it is supposed to include 50,000 bikes — no token program.
“The plan is still under review at the city level. Rio’s secretary of transportation, Jilmar Tatto, gave no timeline nor estimated cost for the project, but he confirmed that a proposal had been presented to São Paulo mayor Fernando Haddad,” TheCityFix writes. (Correction: Jilmar Tatto is São Paulo’s transportation secretary.)
São Paulo already has a few bike-sharing systems. The largest, Bike Sampa, is sponsored by Itaú Bank, with around 1,000 bicycles at stations throughout the city. Cyclists can also find rentals available from the Our Bike system operated by the Parada Vital Institute since 2009. Our Bike offers 240 bikes for rent at 17 subway stations and four bus terminals throughout Rio.
The city pass is to be called the Bilhete Único (Unified Ticket).