Bikesharing – an environmental way to get around Rome:
We’re having a late lunch break at Caffè dell’Arte next to our hotel in Campo dei Fiori when we notice this smart row of green bikes lined up in a bike rack. Ah, this must be one of the bikesharing schemes that are sprouting up all over Europe. Since this first sighting, we’ve seen many others during our strolls around the city.
ATAC Roma, the government transit authority that runs the buses and Metro, now runs this service in Rome but unfortunately, the English version of their website does not seem to be available. This is Mark II of the bikesharing scheme as Roma’n’Bike, the original operators, pulled out after some disagreement with the local government.
How it works
A smart signboard at the bike stand shows you where you can pick up and drop off your shared bike. Seeing a local man about to pick up a bike, I ask him about the scheme. He explains that to avail yourself of this service you must firstly pay €5.00 to register as a user. The ATAC offices are at Lepanto, Spagna and Termini on Metro A. You top up your bike sharing card with a balance (at any of the tourist information points) so that your rental costs can be debited from this. Rental rates are a flat rate of €0.50 per hour.
The service is available 24/7, and you can take a bike for a maximum of 24 hours at a time. You have to provide some identification/credit card details so that if you don’t return the bike or exceed your time limit, penalties can be charged to your card. At fines of €250, users are now remembering to return the bikes to the stands!
The chariots are long gone, but now Rome has bicycles. Well, if you feel confident enough to cycle on the streets of Rome, this certainly is a great way of getting around. Having gone around all the piazzas below on foot, I can tell you that my feet are now pretty sore!
Bike Stand Locations are at:
- Via del Corso, 1 (Piazza del Popolo)
- Piazza Madonna di Loreto (Piazza Venezia)
- Piazza del Parlamento
- Piazza Colonna
- Piazza di Spagna
- Largo delle Stimmate (Argentina)
- Piazza delle Cinque Lune (Piazza Navona)
- Via Santa Caterina da Siena (Pantheon)
- Piazza del Biscione (Campo dei Fiori)
- Piazza San Silvestro
- Piazza Sforza Cesarini
- Via della Panetteria (via del Tritone)
- Piazza Sant’Andrea della Valle
- Vicolo della Campana (via della Scrofa)
- Largo Arenula
- Piazza dell’Oratorio
- Via di Santa Maria in Via (Fontana di Trevi)
- Piazza dell’Oro
- Via dei Pontefici