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Rent-A-Bike Plan

Mobility, Mexico

Mexico City isn't exactly on the leading edge of sustainability.  It faces serious environmental challenges, including smog, waste disposal problems, and of course traffic congestion. But in 2007, Mexico City Mayor Marcelo Ebrard launched an ambitious 15-year eco-action policy called 'Plan Verde' (Green Plan) to address many of the city's woes.  Plan Verde is addressing city transit issues, in part, with bikes. The capital's Bicycle Master Plan aims to increase bicycle trips to 5% of daily trips made in the city by 2012.

To start, the city purchased 2,500 bicycles to give free to residents who complete a bicycle safety course. The bikes are city-friendly with a low frame for men and women, a basket, fenders, a rack, a bell, and reflectors.

Bike-ramps and parking facilities are being added around the city, and over 20km of designated bike paths with protective barriers will be built by the end of this year, including a 10-kilometer stretch along the Paseo de la Reforma, a main road through the city. The Bike Master Plan has the goal of 300 km (186 miles) of new paths by 2012.

The Institute for Transportation and Development Policy has been working with the city to develop the Bicycle Master Plan.  Ultimately, bicycling will become safer, more attractive, healthier, and more convenient as a way to travel through the city. Even the mayor, who lives in the south part of the city, is occasionally bicycling to work in the Zocalo.