Bogotá joins world cities with bike-sharing mobility


Bogotá now joins a host of bike-sharing cities in the world, among them London, Paris, Berlin, Dubai, Seoul, and Barcelona, with the official launch Friday of smart technology mobility.

As the first 1,500 bikes become available in 150 locations in the city, including many near TransMilenio stations, this clean energy transportation will expand in October to include an additional 1,800 bikes, shared equally between pedal and electric. Tembici, the company that won the bid operates bike sharing in South America’s largest urban centers, including Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Santiago de Chile, and Buenos Aires. Now, Bogotá has joined their eco-friendly network, with the backing of Mastercard, the capital’s gas utility company Vanti and Banco Itaú.

After an initial investment of US$10 million to deliver sustainable mobility to Bogotá’s eight million inhabitants, of which 880,000 are habitual cyclists, the tembici bike sharing system will be integrated for all modes of public transportation, with TransMilenio users able to rent a bike with TuLlave cards. All bikes are equipped with GPS tracking software and rides will be charged on the App’s e-commerce platform.

Technology-enabled docks will track the exact time a bike went into service and was returned. Mayor Claudia López highlighted during the launch that Bogotá now offers one of the most integrated and inclusive mobility options of any global city, and puts the capital on course with decarbonization objectives. Pedaling can help reduce CO2 emissions in Bogotá by 8,800 tons per year, claims the Mayoralty.

Tembici bikes are designed for rider safety and comfort and come in three different colors – pink, orange, blue – depending on the private sponsor. The bikes are also equipped with standard road safety elements and weight-resistant baskets for putting shopping or personal items. Box car bikes with large cargo holds are available for those moving bulky items.

“Expanding our operations to a new Latin American country, bringing the experience we have gained over the last 11 years, with a strong investment in technology and e-bikes, is part of our growth and expansion plan,” highlighted Tembici’s Tomás Martins. Tembici stations will be distributed in the localities of Usaquén, Chapinero, Barrios Unidos, Santa Fe, and La Candelaria.

“The locations were defined through studies and analysis by the company’s team of urban planners, evaluating criteria such as proximity to cycling infrastructure, possibilities of higher demand, and integration with public transportation,” added the Brazilian CEO. Some 150 special bikes for persons with disabilities, all powered by hands, will also be available at docking stations.

Wearing a tricolor Colombia cycling jersey, the UK’s Ambassador to Colombia, George Hodgson, accompanied Mayor López at the ceremony and noted the importance of the bilateral agenda with the district and national governments. “The UK and Colombia have a very important relationship, but particularly on sustainable development. This is just one of several interventions we have with combating climate change and changing the way the city is used,” stated the Ambassador. “It’s about putting people first, rather than cars.”

Within hours of the ceremony at Bogotá’s busy Calle 85 with Carrera 15 intersection, a bike docking station was vandalized just several blocks away, and latest act of vandalism in mounting security challenges facing the district administration of Claudia López.

UK Ambassador George Hodgson (second left) and Mayor López during the bike-sharing launch.

How to use the bike sharing system

First download the Tembici App and register on a smartphone your name, ID, date of birth, and cellphone. In the ‘Plans and payment’ section, check the plan that best suits your needs: Yearly, Monthly, Weekly, or per trip.

Once you have scanned the bike’s QR code, unlock it and begin your journey. When finished, leave the bike at the nearest station and check that the bicycle is properly anchored. Once the bike is anchored, your travel time ends and payment is processed. will be generated.

The Yearly plan has a cost of COP$191,900, giving the user up to four trips in the same day, each with a maximum of 60 minutes. If one exceeds that time, on any of the trips, $150 pesos will be charged for each extra minute.

The Monthly plan costs COP$31,990 and the user also has the possibility of making up to 4 trips on the same day, each of a maximum of 60 minutes. If one exceeds the time on any of the trips, one has to pay $150 pesos for each additional minute. In case of making a fifth trip, an additional COP$3,990 will be charged.

The Daily plan costs COP$9,990 plus $890 pesos for each time one removes a bike. In this plan, the user has the possibility of making up to 4 trips in the same day, each one lasting a maximum of 60 minutes. If one exceeds that time on any of the trips, one has to pay $150 pesos for each additional minute. In case of making a fifth trip, an additional charge of $3,990 pesos will be added to the final payment.

When it comes to per-trip costs, Mechanical bikes are charged $890 upon removal plus $150 pesos for each minute. Electric bikes, or e-bikes, start at COP$1,890 for withdrawal, plus $150 per minute of use.