The city of Santiago offers cyclists more and more benefits every day. The capital’s Metro now has two new bicycle storage facilities, located in Escuela Militar on Line 1 and La Cisterna on Line 2.
The parking in La Cisterna includes 21 lock-protected individual berths so users can leave their bicycles there as they head elsewhere.
In addition, the number of spaces to leave bicycles in the Escuela Militar station was increased from 30 to 69, due to the high demand for the service in the area.
By the end of the year the authorities have announced that another three new stations will have the BiciMetro service: Pudahuel, Blanqueado, and Gruta de Lourdes, all on Line 5 of the Santiago Metro. These storage facilities will join the ones that already exist in Vespucio Norte (Line 2), Cristóbal Colón, Grecia, and Las Mercedes (Line 4).
The daily ticket for the service costs $300 pesos (around US$ 0.50), but you can buy 5 daily coupons for $1,000 pesos. The opening hours are the same as the Metro’s: Monday-Saturday from 07:00 to 22:00 and Sundays from 08:00 to 21:00.
BiciMetro is part of a series of public policies aimed at promoting bicycle use, not just for recreational purposes, but as a transportation alternative for the capital’s 6 million inhabitants.
For example, the Santiago by Bicycle program of the Government of the Metropolitan Region of Santiago contemplates having 550 kilometers of urban bicycle paths by 2010, 140 kilometers in rural sectors, and 100 parking facilities.
In Chile there are also diverse NGOs dedicated to bicycle use, such as Arriba ‘e la Chanchaand the Movimiento Furiosos Ciclistas (MFC), who organize bike rides through the country’s cities. For its part, the municipality of Providencia offers a public bicycle service.