Bike sharing and car sharing
BikeMi is the Municipality of Milan's public bike sharing service, which rounds out the public transport offer in addition to subways, buses, and trams. Travel by bicycle allows for greater flexibility and personalized itineraries to reach one's destination. It is fast and is an excellent complement to trains and subways for long distances.
The bike sharing service has proven popular with both residents and visitors as a way to commute to work or university, enjoy the local nightlife, go shopping, and visit Milan's tourist attractions.
There are currently 241 bike sharing stations providing 3.600. The service continues to expand beyond the city centre towards outlying neighbourhoods, and is already available outside the Cerchia dei Bastioni.
Particular attention is paid to where the bike sharing stations are located, with a preference for transport interchanges such as subway and railway stations – which makes it integrate bike sharing with other forms of transport – and places where people congregate, such as public offices, schools, universities, theatres, and cinemas.
Bike sharing stations must also be visible and easily accessible. They are located no more than 300 meters apart, which facilitates the transfer of bicycles from one station to another.
The cost of the bike sharing service is falling, and the first half-hour is free, leading to its increased use. The limited distance between one station and the next makes it possible to easily reach the next station on foot if there are no bicycles available or if the station itself is temporarily out of service. For this reason, the bike sharing service is being expanded gradually instead of through isolated stations.
A car sharing service is available for those times when bicycles or public transport are not enough to meet urban transport needs. The car sharing service was launched in Milan in 2013, and only one year later, there are 15,000 fewer private cars in the city.
Milan boasts the largest car sharing service in Italy and one of the most competitive in Europe, with six operators and over 2,000 cars in circulation.
It began in 2010 with GuidaMI, the car sharing service run by ATM, which was soon followed by E-Vai, run by the Lombardy Regional Administration. Starting in 2013, thanks to a public announcement by the Municipality of Milan, another four companies (Car2go, Enjoy, Twist, Eq Sharing) have entered the fray, making for a rich and varied offer.
Currently, the car sharing service has over 200,000 users and is growing steadily.
Many residents of Milan have decided against having a second family car: the use of car sharing services, even when done frequently, is still less expensive and more convenient than owning an automobile.