Rome bike-sharing a disaster

bikeMost major European cities now have bike-sharing programs that enable you to rent a bike and use it, free, for short errands, or for a low price (electronically-charged) for longer periods.

But not the Italian capital. Bike-sharing was first introduced here in 2008 , with 19 bike-stations and 160 bikes, But it has been downhill (no pun intended) since then and at the moment the bike-sharing program is totally non-existent.  It is not clear what went wrong, but suffice it to say that by the time 500 bikes had been stolen, the city – which made an initial investment of one million euros – had earned only 100,000 euros. A disaster for which there has so far been no cogent explanation. Is it simply that Romans are more dishonest than other people? Seems unlikely but who knows.

A new plan that would install 29 bike stations with 1000 bikes has been approved by the city council but so it has remained on the table. For bureaucratic reasons, bids have not yet been opened for what one assumes would be a lucrative contract.