Bogotá ushers in first No Car Day of 2018

Bogotá is marking on Thursday February 1, the 18th anniversary of ‘No Car and Motorbike Day’. From 5 am to 7:30 pm, the city’s roads will be closed off to personal vehicles and motorbikes. Exceptions include emergency and public transport vehicles such as TransMilenio and SITP.

Both bus systems will be fully operational, with extra fleets distributed during peak hours (5-9 am and 4-8 pm).

The district’s mobility secretariat, Secretaría Distrital de Movilidad, expects some 1,200,000 cars and 350,000 motorbikes to remain at home on today. Drivers who fail to observe the no-car rule will pay a hefty fine and have their vehicle impounded.

Pedestrians will be celebrated this year and according to Secretary of Mobility, Juan Pablo Bocarejo, “We are all pedestrians, we all start our journeys on foot, and we want there to be a better environment to walk in Bogotá. The Day without a Car is a moment where the city gives a global example of sustainable mobility.”

Those of you who want to take advantage of the car-less, exhaust-free streets can grab a bike, a skateboard, or just a pair of sneakers and enjoy 540 km of bike paths that will be open to the public. The Secretaría Distrital de Movilidad hopes to see 2.5 million cyclists take to the streets. If you do cycle, take care and remember to use a helmet, lights, and a reflective jacket.

The Secretary of Health, Luis Gonzalo Morales, says that “prohibiting the use of cars and encouraging the use of bicycles and walking is the best vaccine against diseases.”

With this in mind, there will 23 health assessment points throughout the city where citizens can check their heart rate, weight, and blood glucose, among others. Furthermore, the Ministry of Environment will be monitoring the quality of air and noise levels at various points throughout the city.

The annual No Car Day began in 2000 with the goal of encouraging local residents to use alternative transportation modes to help reduce air pollution.