Gira Bikes fiasco: fewer bicycles on the street, for more stations | Mensagem de Lisboa (PT)

“On Sept. 30, the system had 803 bicycles in operation, compared to 1075 bicycles in operation recorded on Aug. 24 – a drop of 25%,” Mensagem de Lisboa writes.

And EMEL, which runs the bike-sharing program says that “700 bicycles [are] in the shop for maintenance”, according to the report.

If you use Gira as often as we do, you’ve probably run into these issues, no? Below are some that we have, just in the past month — do share yours in the comments, please.

  • bike doesn’t come out, but your app says that you have it
  • you return the bike, the dock blinks, it doesn’t come out, you leave… only to find out that the meter on the app — and the €€ — are still running
  • the electric motor doesn’t engage and, in fact, makes it harder to pedal
  • the motor dies in the middle of the ride, then suddenly throws you forward while you navigate oblivious tourists
  • one of the brakes is kaput, the other hanging by a thread
  • both brakes screech like horny peacocks
  • pedals feel like they’re falling off, the steering wheel is askew, the wheels rub against the fork…

According to Mensagem, they’re trying hard to fix problems — and we see the maintenance crew struggling with these things all the time as well.
But there’s only so much they can do… when “planned investment in the network fell by 75%,” according to Mensagem.


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