Bicing V2 is landing in Barcelona’s streets
After the long season 1 of “Switching dock-based PBS operators”, relating the suspenseful story of Vélib 2 in Paris, its is time for season 2 with Bicing in Barcelona! PBSC is taking over Clear Channel in the Catalan capital, after almost 12 years for the now historic service.
As for Paris’ Vélib’, the challenge remains in the stations work. As a reminder, Mairie de Paris chose to change 50% of the stations, then switch from JCDecaux to Smovengo by changing 100% of the bikes, then change the last 50% of stations. A large part of the delay have been thrown to subcontractors, due to difficulties to electrify all public sites aimed to host a station. Barcelona City Council‘, on the other hand, chose to change bikes and stations progressively, implying a double system operation for 3 months (see point 16 from the tender technical specifications): they have designed a deployment plan on a sub-cluster base, a cluster being a group of stations. The plan is not to impact the availability of the service: first of all, 50% of the stations, system-wide, will be replaced, then the full replacement of the stations will first take place in the most central districts before spreading to the surrounding districts.
The time frame allowed for PBSC to deploy a station after removal of the former hardware is only 4 hours! Looking at this video from one of the first installations, and knowing that Barcelona anticipated the electricity works to avoid being in Paris’ situation, we can believe that the challenge will be achieved. No article popped up as a contradiction.
Let’s monitor the impact on Bicing and its users, and hope that it will remain one of the most successful project around the world (above 10 rides/bike/day).