Night service of bicycles in Milan starts again
From Monday to Thursday until 2 am and on the 24-hour MDW weekend
One of the world’s most popular transport sharing systems, bike sharing, was invented more than half a century ago by a group of anarchists, but since then it has gone a long way. Today it is used in hundreds of cities in the world – dozens even in Italy – and recently has reached new markets with the invention of free floating, a system to leave the bike where you want instead of in the appropriate stations. And it all started on July 28, 1965 in Amsterdam, thanks to a group of tattered.
The Provo experiment
The night before a Dutch anarchist group called Provo had distributed leaflets announcing the end of the “realm of the asphalt of the motorized bourgeoisie”. The next day Roel van Duijn and Luud Schimmelpennink, two Provo activists, painted three black bicycles in the Spui, a square in the center of Amsterdam.
In the following days several other bikes were painted white and left free around the city; “The white bike is the new free system of municipal transport”, it was read on new leaflets distributed by Provo. The experiment failed soon: the Dutch police seized the white bikes on the basis of a 1928 law according to which every bike had to have a lock
Nobody tried again for almost thirty years. Probably no one felt the need to share an object that in the meantime had become of such daily use, except perhaps some other anarchist.
At the beginning of the nineties the tendency was reversed and a new antismog sensitivity was born. So he thought back to that bizarre idea of thirty years ago.
The first city to adopt a public bike sharing system, supported by the municipality and the tourism ministry, was Copenhagen, in 1995: the bicycles could be left anywhere – to use them it was enough to insert a 20-ring coin into the handlebars as bail – and to discourage thieves the bikes were built with components unusable on other models. For several years, however, the experiment seemed an exception that can not be replicated elsewhere, since Copenhagen had many years of cycling paths and was practically flat.
A first breakthrough came in 1996 when the University of Portsmouth, in the United Kingdom, invented a bike sharing system that was unlocked by passing a magnetic card in special parking lots: in this way it was possible to track down who and when he had damaged or stolen a bicycle .
Bike sharing in Italy
In Italy the most developed public bike sharing service is BikeMi, active in Milan since 2008. The service was opened by the Junta of Letizia Moratti but has had an important expansion with the Giunta of Giuliano Pisapia: in 2016 BikeMi managed more than 4 million races spread over more than 300 stations.
The annual subscribers are more than 55 thousand.
The phenomenon of bike sharing continues to earn members in the city. Italy is the second country after China as a degree of service penetration, a sign that the service likes and works for the moment.
The new summer hours
From Sunday 1 April the BikeMi summer night service will be activated, the shared fixed-stalled bike service that is managed by Clear Channel in Milan.
All stations in the city will be open until 2 am from Sunday to Thursday. On Friday and Saturday and during the week of the Salone del Mobile the service will be operating 24 hours a day.
BikeMi users will be notified of the night extension through news, newsletters and from the social page.
… and we at Old Fashion too, we’re doing our little bit,too!