There's a lot of buzz about public bicycle rental program in Rio de Janeiro after an Associated Press story came out today.
It would appear this is old news. The AP story says that Rio launched the public bike rental system today, with 11 bike stations in the Copacabana beach area. A news release from the mayor's office said 60 docking stations will be installed by Dec. 13, putting 600 bikes on the street. The system, modelled after the Velib system in Paris, is based on online registration. A daily pass costs $3; a monthly pass, $6.
This system sounds like a new coat of paint on the previous Samba bike rental system, which was rolled out in 2009. That system offered 500 bikes and was expected to have 42 stations, and was available to anyone who could put down a credit card deposit.
The website RioGuideNow suggests that Samba has been encountering some difficulties up to now. This latest announcement may be a case of, if at first you don't succeed, get some more public funding and try, try again.