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Cemusa Rolls Out a Bike Hire Service in Donostia-San Sebastián, Guipúzcoa

27/12/2007

Cemusa Rolls Out a Bike Hire Service in Donostia-San Sebastián, Guipúzcoa

The Donostia-San Sebastián City Council has awarded FCC subsidiary Cemusa, the leader in urban furniture and outdoor advertising, the project to start up an automated public bicycle hire system.

Cemusa, which also holds the advertising concession for bus stop shelters and time-and-temperature displays in Donostia-San Sebastián, will be making a hundred vehicles available to denizens at five strategic points of the city, where citizens will find bike racks and an electronic terminal that will let them release the chosen bike with a swipe of a user's magnetic card.

The service, similar to that implemented by Cemusa in Pamplona and Rome, will be run on a pilot basis for a two-year initial period that may be extended by another two years. After that time, the City Council will look at the results in order to decide on the possible definitive introduction of the service. If the green light is given, the service would be spread to other points of the city.

The project poses an alternative to the "unsustainable" model based on private automobiles and it is the ideal complement to the city's other means of public transport. Bicycle hire will be free for the first hour, cost one euro for the second hour and three euros for all hours after that, up to a maximum of five hours' occupation. It costs an annual fee of 12 euro to sign up for the system and obtain a user's card.

Donostia-San Sebastián has got a long tradition of pedalling as a regular means of transport and boasts Spain's highest proportion of bike lanes per inhabitant. In fact, it is possible to ride almost all over the city without leaving the saddle.

Apart from providing the vehicles and installing the stations, Cemusa will be taking charge of maintenance and will moreover be working hand in hand with the City Council to make the electronic system compatible with other municipal cards and to post a web page where users can get important information about the service, such as the occupation level and the units available at each station. The eight-speed bikes chosen for the city, made in Guipúzcoa, will be outfitted with a security system and numbered to make bike theft more difficult.

Cemusa, a company integrated in FCC Versia, the FCC Group's services subsidiary, has been doing business in the segment since 1984 and it currently manages over 160,000 items of urban furniture and advertising structures installed in 160 cities of 13 countries of Europe and America, including New York, Milan, Rio de Janeiro, Miami, Lisbon and Madrid.