Rome commits to bike rental system

Self-serve scheme spreading through Europe

Rome is to become the latest European city to set up a self-service bike rental programme and has hired Spanish infrastructure group FCC to set up the system, the company announced Tuesday.

Cemusa, an FCC subsidiary, will install bike stations in Rome "in the coming months" for the pilot programme.

"The pilot programme, with an initial length of six months, will include 250 bicyles and 22 stations in the historic centre of Rome," FCC said in a statement.

It will later be extended throughout the city, with a goal of installing 20,000 bikes.

"Travelling in the centre of Rome will be easier, faster, economical and
environmentally sound with the experimental bike-sharing programme," the mayor of Rome, Walter Veltroni said in the company's statement.

FCC did not provide financial details of the programme.

Rome follows the French capital Paris, which in July launched a network of
self-service bicycles with a plan to provide 20,600 bikes available by the end of the year.

Similar schemes are also running in the Spanish city of Barcelona, in the Dutch capital Amsterdam, and in the southern French city of Lyon.

© BikeRadar 2007

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