If you have ever come to Rio de Janeiro, you must have seen that orange bikes are everywhere. Those are bikes from a bike-share system called Bike Rio (or Bike Itaú, as Itaú bank sponsors this program). Bike Rio is very easy and cheap to use — especially with the chaotic traffic jam in Rio, cycling to places seems a great alternative. And if you agree Rio is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, cycling around the city is also great for the eye.
About the bike-share system
Most big cities in the world are using the bike-share system nowadays. And they all work in a very similar way. Lots of bicycle stations are built around the city and people can rent a bike to use for a certain time frame and return it at a different station. Shanghai, London, New York City, Barcelona and hundreds of other big cities have been using this system for years now.
How does Bike Rio work?
Basically, the system works this: you can take a bike in one station, use it for a period and return it at a different station. Then, you must wait at least 15 minutes until you take another bike without any additional charges. These are the basic conditions that apply to every plan.
There are five plans you can choose from:
- Single trip: costs R$4,00 (30-minute trip each)
- Daily plan: costs R$8,80 (45-minute trip each)
- Monthly plan: costs R$29,90 (60-minute trip each)
- Annual plan: costs R$239,90 (60-minute trip each)
How to pay and how to release the bike from the station?
Download the app Bike Itaú and register your credit card. Then, choose the plan that better suits you. When you are ready to rent a bike, choose one of the stations near you, check the app to see if there are any bikes available on that station, and click “unlock.” The app will provide you a 5-digit code valid for 5 minutes. Go to the station, choose a bike (make sure to check the bike before releasing it from the station – check flat tires, broken breaks, etc) and enter the password on the panel you will find at the station. The bike will be unlocked and you can now use it.
When registering into Itaú Bike app or website, you can also ask for a user card to be delivered to you. That way, you don’t need to use your phone when renting the bike. Just insert your user card into the self-service station and choose a bike. You can have the user card to be sent to your homestay, apartment, or even to Caminhos Language Centre, if you are a student here.
Returning the bike
As easy as it sounds, just find another Bike Rio station wherever you are, check if there are any available docks on it, and return the bike. There’s no need to use the app for returning the bike.
What if you use the bike for longer?
An additional charge of R$3,90 per 30 minutes will be charged to your credit card.
You need to use your strength to return the bike to the station, as it needs to properly lock itself into the machine. Same thing goes to when you release the bike from it. Just pull the bike up and back and it should work. Don’t be afraid to use a bit of force when doing it. If you can’t get it done, just ask if any local can help you. You can say: “Você pode me ajudar com a bicicleta?”
Also, if you are still using the bike and stop somewhere, make sure you keep an eye on the bike, as they don’t offer any locks for you to secure it.
Bike Rio near Caminhos
There is a Bike Rio station really close to Caminhos, just around the corner of Farme de Amoedo Street and Nascimento Silva Street. You can use it to go home after class, go shopping, go to the beach and other things. Make sure to take advantage of that and move easily around the city!
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