These days if you want to stand out as a hip and sustainable city, simply having a bike sharing scheme isn't enough. C'mon, nearly every city has one of those. If you really want to get attention, you need to do something different.
In Barcelona's case, that something different is electrified and capable of going more than 40 miles per hour. It's a scooter, shocking purple in color, and, as you would expect with a city as sui generis as Barcelona, quite unique.
The city rolled out its Motit project earlier this summer, offering 50 bikes to begin. By the middle of next year, it plans to offer 500 bikes in more locations. Users pay either per trip or by the hour, and there are also monthly rates and tourist rates.
Unlike with bike sharing, riders do need to have either a drivers license or a 125cc motorcycle license. And they have to wear a helmet—either their own or the one that comes with the bike. There's also an on-board navigation system to help people get around.
It'll be interesting to see how Motit goes, and whether other cities want to give it a go (San Francisco already has a private version of a scooter share). If it's anything like bike sharing, it could be an idea that spreads.