The Cost of Public Bikes

The journal ElPais has recently published an article showing economic data related to the implementation of the public bicycle transportation system of Barcelona, called bicing. After analyzing the cost and revenue, the article concludes that the cost for the municipality is not much higher than the one generated by any other public transportation system. Although other benefits related to cycling, as the reduction of pollution, the improvement of traffic circulation, or the impact on health, are not shown in the table below, the article also mentions them and provides a link to a survey made by BMJ where  the impact of cycling in health is estimated. # aff-1

Expenses (millions of euros)              

  • Initial investment (6000 bikes, 400 stations, assistance vehicles…)            15,9
  • Annual amortization of initial investment                                                       3,4
  • Employees (250)                                                                                           5,0
  • Operating costs (bike repair, fuel for assistance vehicles etc..)                   10,2
  • Total                                                                                                             18,6


  • Annual Pass (35 euros) + late devolution fees                                              4,7
  • Total cost for the municipality                                                                      13,9


  • Number of bike trips                                                                                    11,2
  • Total cost for the municipality per trip………1,24 euros
  • % of the service paid by users (public Bike)                                               28,4%
  • % of the service paid by users (Bus)                                                          38,4%
  • % of the service paid by users (Light rail)                                                   19,5%
  • % of the service paid by users (subway)                                                    59,6%

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