São Paulo's Bike Share Program

Q: What's São Paolo got that San Francisco ain't?

A: A bike share program.

Sponsored by the auto insurance company Porto Seguro (you heard me right, CAR insurance), UseBike has (I was told) about 24 stations connected to or very near to Metro stations in SP, so commuters can get off the subway, and grab one of these bikes to go that extra mile.

On our rainy tour of SP, Renata not only showed me a gas station (where we took cover with beers during a torrential rainstorm)...
Renata + KT share a beer at gas station

but she also showed me one of the UseBike stations along Avenida Paulista.
bicicletario - bike share program in SP

She told me that UseBike employs at risk youth to man their bike stations (I could be wrong, but these kids look all right to me).
bikeshare dudes

Probably because rain was coming down in quantities parallel to Iguaçu Falls, not a lot of bikes were checked out that day.
Use Bike

In addition to UseBikes, the bike racks at these stations hosted some Paulistas' personal rides (Renata and Felipe recognized some of their friends' bikes parked here).
Car Busters

Bike Sticker Art

UseBike isn't just about sharing bikes, it's about sharing bike culture! Some popular titles were on sale here, including David Byrne's Bicycle Diaries (which I will formally review in a later post).
David Byrne's Bicycle Diaries

This sticker says it all:

I ♥ Bike Share!
Renata + KT + bikeshare dude


Unknown said...

Off topic culture clash: Can't help but bug out at the concept of serving beer at a petrol station. Do they have drive through bottle shops too?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this excellent and informative post. I hope the bike share system coming soon to Melbourne works as well as this. The cynic in me says it won't due to our ridiculous helmet laws.

Kristin Tieche said...

@ Duncan - No drive thru bottle shops, but drinking and driving in Brazil is rampant. More on this subject later.

@ Anon - yes, I hope bike share comes to Melbourne and SF too!

mateoda said...

love this post!

I'm actually from Brazil and didn't know about this UserBike service! I'm from Rio de Janeiro.
They tried to put the same kind of service here but 52 bikes were stollen in a single month. But they think it was an attempt of sabotage, coz before that none of the bikes were stollen, so... brazillian politics...

Anyway, about the comment from DUNCAN:
- It used to be like that, but the government implanted the politic of "Lei Seca", which means zero tollerance for drinking and driving, you can't have a single sip of alcohol. And they have blitz all the time, everywhere. So that changed a lot.

Kristin Tieche said...

@ mateoda - obrigada! I heard about the Samba bikes in Rio, but didn't see any. In fact I wouldn't have seen UseBike in SP because this station was underground. I think people can't steal because they have attendants on duty.

I witnessed some drinking and driving though. Despite the laws, drivers don't seem to abide.

MELI. said...

this is a great informational post KT - it is very inspiring to see the connenction between two magical cities -thanks for sharing :D