Get on yer bike in Tel Aviv

Bicycle, Israel, Green ProphetHot on the heels (or should that be, ‘wheels’) of the news that bicycle use is on the rise in Tel Aviv, the municipality in Israel’s second city has just announced that it is launching a ‘pay and ride’ bike rental system.Last week, Green Prophet reported that bike use in the city shot up by 300 per cent in the last decade, which is now set to climb even further with the scheme which aims to provide 1,500 to 2,000 eco-friendly two-wheelers at 100 different stations in the future.So both Tel Avivian commuters and visitors alike will be able to cruise the 74 kilometers of bike baths in the city (the municipality is paving another 26 kilometers to make it 100 in time for Tel Aviv’s centenary in 2009). In many ways, Israel is still lagging behind Western countries in terms of environmental awareness, but plans like this are signs that the Government and citizens are pedalling in the right direction.”The intention is to imitate similar successful systems currently operating, mainly in western Europe,” reported Ha’aretz. “In Paris, for instance, 20,000 bicycles are offered for rent, after more than 150,000 residents subscribed to the service in the first four months of its operation. The system in Barcelona, Spain reportedly has more than 60,000 subscribers.”In November, just before Green Prophet came to life, the Ministry of the Environment in Jerusalem let me into a secret that they are planning a similar scheme in the capital to get tourists, both foreign and native, to see the city without looking through the greasy window of a bus or taxi.

Photo: Michael Green, Kibbutz Ein Hamifratz.

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7 thoughts on “Get on yer bike in Tel Aviv”

  1. Jaun Millalonco says:

    Just wanted to say great job with the blog, today is my first visit here and I’ve enjoyed reading your posts so far 🙂
    Juan

  2. Devori says:

    Yofi for some, but too many impossibilities that Tel Aviv is going to become an Amsterdam! What about the elderly, the time inconvenience for riding everywhere, general health of the rider, riding in the rain in rainy season (when we get it)! Has anyone ever taken into consideration that being a cyclist in a balagan of pkak of Tel Aviv means you are stuck with tembelim drivers on the road, virtually making safety an impossibility!! To keep Israel green, we really need a light rail, sure it is long awaited, but savlanut, nu?

  3. Hi,
    You have a very nice blog on eco tourism. Its very nice to read it. Thanks for this great post.

  4. Karin says:

    I suspect theft will be a big problem. I’ve had 4 bikes stolen in Tel Aviv, and 1 in Jerusalem. Every time I buy a new bike, I make sure it is crappier than the first. I can just imagine these bikes will get thieved and will make their way to the PA, like cars. Sorry I am so cynical, but I just don’t see it happening.

  5. Michael says:

    James – The municipality have got it covered!
    Regular subscribers or one-time bike users will pay by credit card to ensure vehicles are returned on time…

    All the details here: http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/943349.html

  6. james says:

    I’m delighted to hear this, and will be one of he first to use it here in Jeru, but I grew up in Cambridge, UK, where this scheme was pioneered some 20 years ago – it started well, but within 2 months all the bikes were nicked and ended up in the river Cam!

  7. Oooh. This is cool news. We want to subscribe to such a plan…

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