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)...
but she also showed me one of the UseBike stations along Avenida Paulista.
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).
Probably because rain was coming down in quantities parallel to Iguaçu Falls, not a lot of bikes were checked out that day.
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).
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).
This sticker says it all:
I ♥ Bike Share!