(Photos: Chilango, Flickr)
"Ecobici" is Mexico City's new Bike Share scheme, and part of the city's 15-year Plan Verde, a $1 billion-per-year program supported by Mexico's federal government, the World Bank and the United Nations.
"The plan includes a new, energy efficient bus system, once-a-week no-drive days for all cars, and subway system improvements. Every Sunday, 16 miles of downtown streets are closed to car traffic, allowing cyclists and pedestrians to safely cruise their city."
But in order to ensure their 'clean-air' bike share programme works, Mexico has repealed their mandatory bicycle helmet laws! Admittedly their helmet laws had been largely unenforced, but their urban planners & municipal leaders decided to leave nothing to chance, and appreciating that MHLs could pose an unnecessary hurdle, dispensed with them poste-haste!
So here's what's on offer for users:
* they can check out a bike for 30 minutes at a time
* they return it to any of the bike stations, and 10 minutes have to pass before they check out another one
* if a bike is kept out longer than a half hour, small fees start to accrue
* the bikes have adjustable seats, and they come with lights that go on automatically when ridden and have small racks to hold purses or groceries.
Why do we have to make it so hard for ourselves here in Australia? The solution is so simple, and other countries are paving the way for us...
...and we know what we have to do...
...repeal mandatory helmet laws!!!