By Ruth Faulkner, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The city of Rio is set to receive 800 spaces for bikes alongside a number of its metro stations. The Department of Transport, working with the Rio State Bike Program, in partnership with the City Department of Environment and the MetrôRio dealership, have begun the installation of 400 bike racks in the vicinity of metro stations to encourage the use of bicycles in conjunction with public transport.
The first station to be completed will be the General Osório metro station, in Ipanema, in Rio’s Zona Sul (South Zone). There will be twenty vacancies in the Praça General Osório, ten in Jangadeiros street and another seventy available at the Rua Barao da Torre entrance.
Next, bike racks will be implemented in four north stations: twenty in Vicente de Carvalho, twenty in Irajá, 25 in Colégio and twelve others in Coelho Neto. Bike places will also be implemented in São Cristóvão, Maracanã, Triagem and Uruguai stations, in the north of the city.
The number of places for each metro station was established by a survey conducted in partnership with the NGO Active Transportation, which mapped the underground stations that have the most bike users and demand for spaces.
Rio has the second largest cycling network in Latin America, after Bogotá, Colombia. Many initiatives have been implemented recently to encourage further bike use, as part of the Rio State Bike Program. Programs have included educational programs for public school students and more than 40,000 state bus drivers, through the Pedaling Project and Rider Friendly Driver programs.
Two new bikeways are currently under construction; a new path to link Avenida Niemeyer bikeway to the existing bikeway along Leblon and Ipanema beach and a bikeway included in the Joá highway, currently under construction.
Since 2010, cycling has been celebrated in Rio during the three-day BiciRio event held in September every year. The event is held in conjunction with World Carfree Day, a world initiative encouraging people to go without a car for the day.