One of the greater curiosities coming out of my short trip to Rome was the seemingly-thriving bikesharing system. I saw dozens of kiosks around the area where we stayed (Trevi Fountain / Campo de Marzio / Via Veneto / La Spagna).
BUT WHERE WERE THE BIKES?!?
Turns out that the original bikesharing company – Roma’n’Bike – folded and was taken over by the government transit company ATAC (which runs the buses and the Metro) on June 3rd. Bikesharing rates were changed, rules were altered, and within a month, most of the bikes disappeared. Blogs like the Italian-language http://bikesharingroma.com are not buying into the idea that this is necessarily theft-related. Based on the terms of the bikeshare, ATAC could charge your credit card 250 Euro within 24 hours of the bike not being returned.
Now perhaps it’s the language barrier or perhaps I’m missing something. Are Rome’s 50-150 bikesharing bikes missing or stolen? Or is the entire program broken? I’ve found few answers online and fewer when I was there.