People who use shared mobility services are not usually habitual car or motorbike drivers. They generally have inter-modal transport habits and use alternative modes of transport to the car, such as bicycles, public transport or making journeys on foot.
They use this type of shared vehicle service for regular journeys in a conscious way: one ‘car-sharing’ or any other kind of shared vehicle can substitute up to five vehicles on the roads. Therefore, it represents an important economic and environmental saving.
There are various private, public and cooperative shared vehicle companies (cars, motorbikes or bicycles) operating in Barcelona, working in different types of services: Free movement, with or without fixed stations, or circular movement.
This decree establishes the total number of permits in the city and per company, which shall be allocated in accordance with the limits set out in the regulations, and defines the procedure for awarding permits for both shared-use bicycles and motorcycles in the city. It also sets out the terms and conditions of use of the permit and the duty to pay the charge for parking in the public space, approved by the Full Council Meeting.
The total number of permits for motorcycles and bicycles shall be allocated to companies that apply for them and meet the requirements. For the first year, the number of licenses for shared-use bicycles for economic exploitation is set at 3,975 for the entire city, of which a maximum of 1,325 can be awarded to a single company. In the case of motorcycles and mopeds, the total number is set at 6,958 for the city and 2,319 per company.
Each permit is initially valid for three years, which may be extended for a further year at Barcelona City Council's discretion, on the prior request of the company concerned. The total number of permits in the city shall be reviewed every year, as established in the regulation, to make the necessary adjustments depending on the capacity of the public space to absorb these new vehicles.
The awarding of permits shall be conditioned by payment of the corresponding municipal charge, established in Tax Byelaw 3.10, which for 2019 is set at €71.51 a year per vehicle. Deployment will be continually assessed, based on the data provided by the operators.
Penalties of €450.76 shall be imposed for breaching the conditions of use of the public space. The City Council can also:
- Seize vehicles if they are being used after the licence has expired.
- Revoke the permit if the vehicle is not used for a period of more than twenty days.
- Revoke the permit if it is in the public interest.
Organisation of the public space and protecting pedestrians
Shared mobility helps to mitigate pollution, encourage the use of bicycles and public transport, and boost electric vehicle use.
The new regulatory framework will serve to minimise negative effects on the use of the public space and the road safety of this type of mobility in the city.
Some of the stand-out advantages of shared vehicle services are:
- Saving on maintenance costs
- Better access to a vehicle
- Flexibility of a practically door-to-door service
- Best option to avoid the use of a private vehicle
- Reduction of vehicle possession and amortisation costs
The call for the process will include the mandatory requirements to obtain the permits, the deadline for submitting applications and the documents that must be provided. The announcement will be published in the Official Bulletin of the Province of Barcelona.
Each company may apply for the maximum number of permits per company established in the regulation (1,325 for bicycles and 2,319 for motorcycles or mopeds). The total number of permits shall be divided among the number of applicants that meet the requirements, and the order of allocation shall be determined by a draw. In the first instance, each company shall be allocated either this number of permits or the total number of permits applied for if this figure is lower. The remaining permits shall be allocated using the same system.
This limit will practically double the vehicle fleet currently in operation in Barcelona, provided they comply with the terms and conditions established in the new regulations: they must be sustainable vehicles and must be parked in the spaces allocated for this use; municipal access to the data must be guaranteed; the service must be distributed optimally among the districts; and the permits cannot be ceded.
Vehicles with permits must display a unique, visible identification number for each vehicle and they must be licensed or registered in accordance with current regulations.
Some duties and obligations have been established for permit holders to obtain and retain the permits:
- Respect current regulations regarding road safety, traffic circulation, parking and occupying public highways, in addition to the rest of the legal and administrative regulations.
- Have a third party insurance policy to cover any injuries or damage to third parties and the public domain. Motorcycles and mopeds must have at least the mandatory 3rd party insurance policy. These insurance policies must be in force for the whole period the permit is valid.
- Commitment to social responsibility in employment matters.
- Selling, transferring or transmitting allocated permits is prohibited.
- Issue a guarantee to ensure good compliance with the terms and conditions of the permit, which is set at 10% of the total charge for all the vehicles.
- Provide the City Council with the data relating to the geolocation of all the vehicles in real time, 24 hours a day, in an accessible format.
- Properly relocate vehicles when they are found to be in breach of the parking rules, within a period of 24 hours.
- Ensure that bicycles are only parked in the spaces provided, in accordance with current regulations, i.e. anchored in the inverted U-shaped parking places designated in the public space by the City Council.
- Not concentrate more than 50% of each operator's fleet in the city centre for more than two consecutive hours.
Users of the shared-use motorcycle and bicycle service must follow the code of good practice, which promotes responsible, sustainable, civic driving. Behaviours that may lead to being excluded from the service are:
- Driving while above the legal alcohol limit.
- Driving while under the influence of drugs.
- Driving recklessly or without due care and attention.
- Allowing the vehicle to be driven by a person who is not registered to do so.
- Driving without a driving licence.
- Driving with a passenger who is a minor without complying with the rules in force.
- Using the vehicle to commit an offence.
A new decree from the Councillor for Mobility, approved on 4 February 2020, makes changes to the list of companies accepted and rejected in the procedure. It resolves the appeals for reconsideration lodged by different companies. The committee hearing will take place on 7 February at 8 am in the Sala Barcelona, Avinguda Diagonal, 240, 2nd floor.