Rome to try bike sharing again

Bikes to be fitted with GPS to avoid theft and vandalism says Rome mayor.

Rome's mayor Virginia Raggi has called for expressions of interest in launching a new bike sharing service for the capital, with pedal assisted bicycles tracked by GPS.

The initiative is envisaged as an experimental three-year project, Raggi says, with geolocation tracking allowing for the bikes to be monitored in real time to avoid theft and vandalism. The scheme will allow for between 500 and 7,000 bikes to circulate in the city.

Raggi says the project goes hand in hand with the capital's efforts to create an integrated cycle network and promote increasingly sustainable mobility in Rome.

The news comes a year after bailed out of Rome and Europe after claiming that 60 per cent of its European fleet was vandalised, stolen and dumped in rivers.

The city's other free-floating bike service Obike followed suit, after going bankrupt in Europe, but its fleet also suffered widespread vandalism in Rome. Many of the bicycles were rendered unusable or were thrown off bridges into the Tevere.

Earlier this summer American electric scooter sharing companies Lime and Bird launched in Rome, following the go-ahead from Italy's transport ministry regarding the circulation of new forms of urban micro-mobility on city streets.