The renovation of the Ecobici public bike system will resume this weekend, after the project was suspended almost a month ago due to a global shortage of chips and problems transporting them to bike stations.
After 10 years of service, the government in turn decided to retire the traditional red bikes and the fixed cycle stations to offer a totally renewed and modern system that requires parts that are highly demanded worldwide. The difficulty to get them is what stops the project.
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On September 2, the Ministry of Mobility (Semovi) of Mexico City reported on the pause in the renewal and indicated that it would be resumed on September 14, but the problem continued and the suspension period was extended.
In interview with The Sun of MexicoTirso Navarro, director of 5M2, the company that together with BKT will manage Ecobici until 2027, specified that the problem of the lack of chips impacts the manufacturing capacity of the “towers”, which are the “brain” of the cycle stations.
“The case that impacts us directly, that has generated a delay, are several: the first and the most important is the manufacturing capacity of the turrets, which are like the brain of the operation of the station that does require that same chip.
“We are fighting with car manufacturers and manufacturers of a variety of products in the world that depend on these chips and it has become an issue not only of supply, complex and financial, but of transportation,” he said.
Transportation is what caused the latest delay since there is high demand for the ships that transport the parts from Canada, a country where most of the station components are manufactured.
The director of 5M2 informed that they will reinforce the installation work due to the delays, for which they will work 24 hours a day and promised that each week they will install around 30 new cycle stations.
The renovation of the entire Ecobici system should be ready in January 2023 and then the process of expansion towards the Álvaro Obregón, Azcapotzalco and Coyoacán municipalities will begin, which should culminate in April of that year; however, if there is another pause in the next few days, this installment could be postponed.
Until July they managed to change 90 out of 480 and 1,400 out of 6,500 bicycles in the Benito Juárez and Cuauhtémoc city halls.