The Governing Board of the City Council of La Laguna approved, last Tuesday, to initiate the procedure to launch a public project for the loan of electric bicycles in the university campuses and the town center. A proposal that the Sustainable Mobility Area, directed by María José Roca, is developing in collaboration with Sagulpa and that will allow, in a first phase, to put a hundred vehicles and 20 docking stations into service.
The initial investment necessary for the development of this first phase, which will allow the implementation of other basic operating infrastructures for the subsequent expansion of the municipal network, has been quantified at 1.3 million euros, with a budget provision already contemplated for this year by the Government of the Canary Islands and the City Council.
The lagoon project is based on the experience developed by the city of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria with which, since 2019, it has held joint meetings that have led to this action with the Municipal Parking Society of the Gran Canaria town (Sagulpa).
María José Roca explained that, “through the agreement of the Local Board, the development of the project may be entrusted to the entity as its own means, thus guaranteeing its operation as a public service, speeding up the process of implementing this network with an entity with experience and access a greater number of subsidies to finance it at the lowest cost for citizens”.
The initiative is based on and endorsed by the agreement of the Canarian Federation of Municipalities of July 2021, by which the municipalities are notified of the possibility that Sagulpa be declared a personified medium of the municipal corporations that consider it so, in relation to their contracting authorities in matters of mobility.
The first phase of this public bicycle system focuses on the commuting of the educational community of the University of La Laguna, in the two campuses and their connections with the town center, and will be expanded, in successive phases, to generate an adequate network to the needs of the municipality.
The proposed system will have physical stations, made up of a totem where the necessary procedures are carried out (registration and deregistration in the system, payment, request and return a bicycle, etc.) and physical anchorages for bicycles, all supported by a mobile application that facilitates its operation.
This first phase is proposed with 100 bicycles distributed in 20 stations, each one having anchorages and space for 10 bicycles, which represents 20% of the optimal loan system for the entire town, serving its population.
“This system is essential to change the mobility model in La Laguna, since, combining it with public transport, it allows to cover complete trips. In addition, it will be supported by a municipal cycling infrastructure, on which we are already working and which is key to promoting the use of bicycles among citizens, increasing these figures in the modal distribution and changing an unsustainable model”, highlighted Roca.
It should be remembered that the area has already put out to tender the drafting of the Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan, with a budget of 170,129.99 euros. A strategic document that will define the municipal policies related to urban mobility for the next 10 years and that will have a broad participatory strategy.
In addition, “we are developing a new active mobility ordinance to regulate the coexistence between pedestrians and cyclists, and which is already well advanced, and we have completed the comprehensive planning of the basic municipal cycling network, which has 23 longitudinal kilometers and will allow us to connect the town with La Cuesta, the University campuses, the airport, Geneto, etc. linking with those planned by the Cabildo and also connected to each other”, recalled Roca.