Mexico City will become the No. 4 city in the world in terms of bicycle use this year, with the number of users of the Public Bicycles System reaching 180,000 and 13.5 million trips being logged, Mayor Miguel Angel Mancera said.
Mancera unveiled the next phase of the EcoBici program on Tuesday, when the project marked its 4th anniversary.
EcoBici is being expanded to the borough of Benito Juarez, covering a nearly 14 sq. kilometer (5.4 sq. mile) area and adding 22 new neighborhoods, 171 stations, 2,600 bicycles and about 60,000 new users, the mayor said.
“EcoBici will become the fourth-largest system in the world and the top one in the Americas, overtaking New York and trailing only Paris, China and London,” Mancera said.
The next phase of the program will allow users to pay with credit cards at every station in an effort to “serve domestic and international tourists in this jurisdiction (Benito Juarez) and in the capital’s high-tourism zones,” the mayor said.
EcoBici was launched in February 2010 with 75 bicycle stations, which later grew to 90, and 1,200 bikes in a downtown area.
The number of users has grown each year and now totals around 120,000.
Mexico City’s government also announced the “Ecobici 4th Anniversary Challenge,” a contest that will award prizes to the users logging the most bike trips between Feb. 18 and Feb. 28.
The top prize is a three-day, two-night trip for two to Barcelona. Five smartphones and 10 ecobikes also being awarded.