The new BiciMad starts with the computer system down and among complaints from users | Madrid | The USA Print

At 0.00 this Tuesday it has entered operation of the new stage of Bicimad, the Madrid City Council’s public electric bicycle service: from 264 stations to 611, and from a fleet of 2,964 vehicles to 7,500, although the expansion will be progressive. The premiere is accompanied by a free campaign announced with great fanfare by the mayor, Jose Luis Martínez-Almeida, during the last week. Four months free for current subscribers, until July 31, five for new annual subscribers and a first half hour free for occasional users. However, the debut of the blue bikes has suffered, as EL PAÍS has been able to verify, multiple problems: from difficulties to access the application and operate within it, to the impossibility of consulting the map with the locations of the new stations or unpin a bike to ride around town.

Once the application is downloaded, after repeated attempts, when going to unpin the bicycles at some of the new stations, such as the one located at the Suanzes metro stop, San Blas-Canillejas district, an error message pops up on the screen, next to a customer service number to call. The first time, they hang up. To the second, after waiting 10 minutes, no one has answered. And to the third, this has been the answer: “It is that the computer system has fallen. If you’re not in a hurry, try again at noon, and if that doesn’t work, call us tomorrow. The colleagues are trying to solve it ”. The main complaints from users is that they cannot access their account to migrate it to the new application or open one from scratch to start enjoying the service.

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Screenshot of the Bicimad application.

Beatriz Sevilla, 29, has been a Bicimad user since 2016 and this Tuesday she has tried again and again to access her account in the application. “I go in and see that I am disconnected. They send me a new password and ask me to sign in to the MPass system. I do it and validate my email. They thank me for connecting and ask me to do it again to give the payment method, ”she says. She hasn’t been able to do much else, the message is repeated every time she enters her details and doesn’t give her the option to enter her account number. “I just wanted to see where the new stations are and how this change affects me. They have bundled me to open an account and add a way to pay, when I have already paid the annual subscription for 2023 and I have money in the virtual wallet to take bicycles. I don’t understand anything and everything is horrible. The usability is incomprehensible”, complains the young woman.

The problem of Seville is one of the criticisms that have been repeated the most throughout the morning on social networks. “Hire staff and put resources. Build an app that works. Do not load the service ”, a user answered to the message from the City Council announcing the renewed service On twitter. “It is impossible to use the Android app, it closes, it cannot be used, it has many errors”, lamented another. “As expected, avalanche of uses and incidents and overflowing telephone”, has criticized another.

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Consuelo Hernández went down to test the new bikes shortly before noon. She lives in the Ciudad Lineal district and is a regular user of this service. “It’s a luxury,” she says. “When the Madrid City Council managed them, they took terrible care of them, but since they were taken over by the EMT (the Madrid Municipal Transport Company) they are doing much better.” A few days ago she transferred the old app to the new system, the MPass, and since then she has not been able to take any bicycle, neither the old ones, the white ones, nor the new ones, the blue ones, which will coexist for several months. This Tuesday has not been different. She has tried it with three different bikes at the station at the intersection of Calle de García Noblejas with Calle de Alcalá and she has not been able to unpin any, neither with the app nor with the public transport card. “We will have to give the system a few days to break down, if I have to wait, I hope,” she commented.

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