Spanish capital puts off bicycle scheme after economic woes

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The Spanish capital's plan to introduce a low-cost bicycle rental service has been indefinitely postponed as part of its austerity measures, daily newspaper El Pais reported Sunday.

Madrid had planned to launch the service, called "MyBici" in March 2011 with the distribution of 1,560 rental bikes throughout the city.

The launch of the system had already been put off in 2009 due to the economic downturn, which has left Spain struggling to rein in the third-largest public deficit in the 16-nation euro zone.

The city of Madrid plans to slash its spending by 1.041 billion euros (1.277 billion dollars) as part of austerity measures which include a 15 percent cut to mayor Alberto Ruiz-Gallardon's salary.

A low-cost bicycle rental scheme has already been put in place in several other Spanish cities including Barcelona and Seville as well as in other European cities such as Paris and Amsterdam.

© 2010 AFP

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