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Okay everyone, luckily boyfriend and I were able to sign up for the Mejor en Bici FREE bike share program all in a matter of 24 hours right here in our neighborhood in Buenos Aires! What does that mean? Finally my whiny bikeless butt can get some bike share action.
Overall Impressions of the Mejor en Bici Bike Share:
- The price is right for $Free.99
- Service can be hit or miss
- Good quality helmets
- Free map of the bike routes in the city is SUPER useful
- I wish there were more stations, since the limit is one hour at a time
- Bikes with baskets - I love it (what can I say, easy to please)
- Open hours are Monday-Friday, 8am -8pm; Saturdays, 10am- 3pm; and closed Sundays
And a tip to share before I get into the details… If you are riding around with a bag or purse, loop the straps around your handles before placing it in your front basket to avoid purse-snatching at stops. A tip I learned from my friend in Paris.
Success: How to Sign Up for Mejor en Bici
After reading this extremely useful article on Mejor en Bici from Wander Argentina, signing up was surprisingly simple. First, we went to the Police station nearest our house (open 24 hours) and, as we are not Argentines, we needed to get a Domicile Certificate. We paid the 10 Argentine pesos, and waited as the officer copied down our passport information and our address. The next day at 8am, the mail man slipped the completed form under our apartment door, with signature and stamp of approval. We took the form, and made photocopies of it and our passports and made our way to the Mejor en Bici station at Plaza Italia.
Here is where we had a bit of a communication breakdown - the girl working the desk sent us to another station only 4 blocks away where the clerks spoke fluent English. Apparently our Castellano was so terrible, that the first girl didn’t have the patience to fill out the forms and take our pictures. Anyway, we had a fantastic experience in English, turned in our certificate and photocopies, and got a great little orientation session on the program. Now, anytime we want to check out bikes for FREE, we can show up to any Mejor en Bici station, ask for a bike and helmet, and give our passport and pin # we and we’re good for up to an hour. The bikes can be “recharged” at other stations in the city if you need more than an hour. You can even check online for availability of bikes per station - it’s live.
So, I took it one of the clunky yellow cruisers for a ride to a meeting in another neighborhood and dropped it off at the nearest station. The seat was a little low, and the quick release was rusted in place, so there was a lot of standing on this ride. After I dropped off the bike, I gave them my number, then I walked another 15 minutes to the office. Good thing I didn’t decide to keep the bike with me at the office, since the meeting went on FOREVER! I would have received a penalty on my account for going over the hour allotted, and wouldn’t be able to use the free bike for a week.
Thus ends my short spell of Bikeless Butt Envy… Hopefully I’ll keep my butt happy by smashing it into these yellow city bicis on the regular. If you have any bike share tips or stories for the world, post em in the comments box, below. Bicibrazos, Bike Commuters!