First No Car Day of the year for Bogotá on February 7

Bogotános are all too familiar with Día sin carro y moto (No Car Day), taking the district’s initiative to promote environmentally friendly transport twice a year by riding bicycles to work, or as is becoming increasingly popular, scooting along more than 500 kilometers of the capital’s designated bike lanes.

Started in 2000 to promote clean mobility, Bogotá’s no car day also includes motorbikes and drivers who fail to observe the restriction that starts at 5:00 am and ends at 7:30 pm, face a fine of $ 414,057 pesos regardless if on four wheels or two. Those who are exempt from the regulation are emergency vehicles, public transport buses, funeral hearses, and armored cars level 3 and higher.

The Integrated Bus System – SITP – will be fully operational with extra buses added to meet commuter traffic during peak hours (5-9 am and 4-8 pm).  The district’s mobility secretariat, Secretaría Distrital de Movilidad, expects some 1,700,000 cars and 480,000 motorbikes will remain at home Thursday.

For those who want to take full advantage of an exhaust-free day, rent a bike, hop on a skateboard or walk to work, joining some 2.5 million cyclists on the ciclovías. If you decide to cycle, use a helmet, lights, and reflective jacket.

The Ministry of Health is also getting involved in Día sin carro y moto with 20 health stations set up across the city in order to respond to emergencies, and where pedestrians and cyclists can have their blood pressure taken. The posts called  ‘Cuídate, se feliz’ (Take care of yourself, be happy) are located in Portal Las Americas, El Tunal, Veinte de Julio, El Dorado, Calle 80,  Museo Nacional and Plaza de Bolívar, among others.

If you are heading to the airport give yourself extra time as finding a taxi can be difficult during rush hour, and with major closed to cars as on any given Sunday with the Cicloruta, expect traffic build up in filter lanes and around the Simon Bolívar park.