The city of Milano is not a perfect place to bike, it’s no Amsterdam with its kilometers of bike paths and a large percentage of commuters going to work by bike. But it’s not that bad either: Milano is on a very flat plateau, so there are no strenuous hills, and the climate is relatively mild, so there’s not much winter snow. And, you don’t even need to buy a bike to take advantage of this environmentally-friendly two-wheeled transportation.
What is bike-sharing?
It’s a kind of transportation system that allows members to borrow bikes from various stations around the city, use them for a period of time, and return them to any other station, generally for an annual or daily fee. The idea is to provide citizens and tourists with an alternative to driving and public transportation that contribute to pollution and traffic.
BikeMi in Milano
Milano’s program has been around for several years now and is similar to other programs you can find around the globe. The number of bike stands has been increasing every year and there are now over 300 stands around the city! Several bike stands are on or around the Bocconi campus for students, and lots more are scattered around the central areas of the city.
Users need to register for an annual, weekly or daily membership with a credit card in order to receive a user card or password. Yearly members will receive their card through the mail around 15 days after signing up online, via mobile service or at one of the ATM Points around the city. Weekly and daily registration will be require similar methods, with the easiest way of to rent a bike through your mobile phone.
An annual membership costs €36, while weekly and daily registration are priced at €9 and €4.50 respectively. Using the regular bikes for only 30 minutes doesn’t entail an extra fee, but after that, €0.50 will be charged for each half hour for up to 2 hours and €2 for each hour after that. However, users that take bikes for over 2 hours for a total of 3 times get blocked, so remember to bring your bike back to a station as soon as possible. And remember to read always read the fine print: if you don’t bring your bike back to a stand within 24 hours, your credit card will be charged for the loss!
The latest option for BikeMi subscribers are ebikes, electric bicycles that are located at the same stands as the regular bikes. These are a good idea for biking longer distances because a little motor helps you along as you pedal. To find one, just look for a bike with a red frame (instead of the typical yellow/beige). Be aware that the use of these bikes are not included in your subscription, so €0.25 will be charged to your credit card for the first 30 minutes you use one. More info can be found on BikeMi’s tariffs page.
Also, remember that the service is usually only available between 7am and 1am (except for special occasions or extended summer hours), so you should generally plan on taking a walk or a taxi to get back home after the discoteca!
For up-to-date information and more details about subscriptions, check out their website: www.bikemi.it.