Africa’s First Bike-Share Opens in Morocco

  • Marrakech, one of Morocco’s largest cities just launched Africa’s first bike-share system, in conjunction with holding the United Nations’ COP22 2016 climate change conference.
  • Medina Bike, as it’s been aptly named – medina means city in Arabic – has 300 bikes available at 10 docking stations throughout the city’s center.
  • Users can purchase passes for a day, week, or month for 50, 150, and 500 dirhams ($5, $15, and $50 USD), respectively, and are charged 30 dirhams ($3 USD) for each 30 minutes after the first half hour.
  • The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) conceived the Medina Bike project, then invited companies to bid on it.
  • The French firm Smoove, whose bike-shares can be found in such cities as Chicago and Moscow, won the bid, and partnered on the project with Estates Vision, a local Moroccan firm.
  • The launch of Medina Bike, as well the choice of Morocco to host the COP22, reflects the North African country’s policies and desire to combat climate change.
  • Much of the country’s 2,175-mile coastline is densely populated, which makes Morocco particularly at-risk to the effects of global warming and rising sea levels.
  • The government has a goal of generating 52% of its energy from renewable resources by 2030, and Marrakech’s bike-share is certainly an indication of positive movement.

“[we] want Moroccans as well as visitors to realize that biking is not only good for the environment, but is the best way to travel short distances.”

-Hélène Papa, marketing communications manager for Smoove.

A Medina Bike docking station in Marrakech. Photo by Smoove.
A Medina Bike docking station in Marrakech. Photo by Smoove.

Feature photo by Flickr user bobduzy.

Author: Nicholas Efthimiadis

Seattle grown. Avid skier and occasional ski racer. Passionate about all things urban (particularly transportation & housing). University of Washington 2016 graduate: BA in Economics and a minor in Urban Design and Planning. Extensive experience in fictitious cartography and sand-city molding.

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