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After scooters, new rules are for bike sharing service in the city

Translated by V. Zelada.

After the approval of the guidelines and the publication of the new call for rental scooters, the Rome Capital Council approved the resolution with the Guidelines for the conduct of pedal-assisted bike sharing service in the capital's territory, starting Jan. 1, 2023. The scheme echoes that for scooters.

These are the main changes in summary. Compared to the current situation, the authorized operators there will be a maximum of three, selected through public notice. The concession will be for three years. Companies wanting to operate in Rome will have to have already carried out an authorized service in cities with a minimum of 750,000 inhabitants and at least 500 vehicles.

On the rules side, the speed of vehicles will be limited to 25 km/h. A metal license plate will become mandatory on each vehicle with the addition of QR Code allowing immediate identification through electronic devices. Special “No parking” areas will be identified and others where vehicles can be left. Bicycle rental will also be stupelated for under 18’s; unlike for scooters, with mandatory registration through ID card.

Each operator will be able to obtain authorization, against a fee to be paid to Roma Capitale varying between 1 and 4 euros per month for each vehicle, for between a minimum number of 2,500 vehicles and a maximum of 3,000 vehicles (a figure that the Administration may increase up to 4,500).

The territorial size of the service increases with a total area of 95 sq. km extended to 5 Pgtu areas between the Aurelian Walls, the railway ring, the Green Zone, Gra, Ostia and Acilia. There will be a maximum of 30 vehicles per operator in the Tridente LTZ, which will rise to 300 in the LTZ’s City Centre and become 70 in the Trastevere LTZ. In the whole area of the I Municipio (Limited Traffic Zone excluded) the vehicles will be able to reach a maximum of 600.

Measurements of vehicle densities in the indicated areas will be taken electronically every 60 minutes and ; if not met consistently, will result in immediate measures for operators. Finally, strict conditions are provided for the revocation of operators' permits if service thresholds are not met. These range from a 7-day suspension for the first offense to complete revocation in the most serious cases of noncompliance.

Mayor Roberto Gualtieri explained, "This resolution guarantees certain rules and correct behavior for ebikes as well. As we have already done for scooters, which we published in  the new notice just a few days ago, the Administration continues with the plan to rationalize sharing mobility services. We favor its development but in a more balanced way, imposing a better distribution throughout the municipality and combating any uncivilized behavior or behavior that endangers the safety of service users and others. Electric bicycles and scooters will continue to play a valuable role, ensuring short and quick trips for many types of users but finally, in compliance with clear regulations and urban decorum."

"After the approval of the guidelines and the publication of the call for rental scooters," said Councillor for Mobility Eugenio Patanè, " and with the resolution approved today we put the micromobility sharing sector in order once and for all. We inherited a situation without rules that we are going to regulate with the aim of boosting the use of sustainable mode vehicles, using them where, how and when they are needed, but avoiding that they be parked everywhere. This is why we have placed stricter constraints to protect urban decorum and safety, asking operators for a more balanced distribution in all the municipalities and not only in the historic center."