The World Bank helps pump up Bogota bike use

By Jess Rapp November 17, 2017

The World Bank helps pump up Bogota bike useThe Secretary of Mobility and the World Bank have teamed up to get the wheels moving on projects to help benefit cyclists in the city. 

This week, Bogota’s Secretary of Mobility and the World Bank signed a technical advisory agreement to address three key areas in the development of bike use in Bogota – collection of data, safety, and the analysis of pedicabs as an alternative means of transport.

Through mobile phones, video cameras, social networks, and sensors installed all over the city, information will be collected on the use of bicycles. A technological platform capable of collecting, managing and analysing this data will be developed to then help create strategies and improve aspects of bike use where needed.

The World Bank also intends to regulate pedicabs, offering possible methodologies and models for the service – which is currently illegal – to help implement a government policy. A focus on the use of pedicabs for short trips in locations such as Kennedy, Bosa, Suba, Usaquén, Engativá and Puente Aranda are in discussion.

Perhaps the most important step in the agreement is the topic of security. World Bank representatives will work closely with Bogota to reinforce personal safety plans for cyclists across the city.

In September this year, a 10 year old boy was killed by a truck in the south of Bogota while he was cycling to school as part of a “bike to school program.” According to El Tiempo, the total number of cyclist deaths in the capital was 45 between January and September 2017.

After an initial overview of the city’s bicycle usage, the World Bank will put forward a list of recommendations for the government to initiate by the end of next year. The hope is the project will allow Colombia to learn from their neighbouring countries in terms of cycle use, but also for Colombia to share with them what they are doing well.

In fact, Bogota’s city streets have had bikes lanes for over 40 years, and according to the World Bank, the capital city is considered to have the largest bicycle system in Latin America, serving “as a source of inspiration for more than 200 cities around the world.”

Since the launch of “Plan Bici” in July 2016, a project aimed to promote bicycles as peoples primary choice of transport, the capital has been strengthening efforts to further improve safety, infrastructure, and enthusiasm towards these two wheeled vehicles. Last month, Bogota held X Bike Week, where citizens celebrated the use of the bike as a sustainable means of transport by taking part in various cultural and recreational activities, including cycle tours, and health conferences.