Madrid to Launch E-bikes

July 23, 2014

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1.  slope /sloʊp/ (n.) – an inclined area, usually of hills and mountains
Example: I have been wanting to see the slopes of Sierra Madre.

2. across /əˈkrɔs, əˈkrɒs/ (prep.) – from one part to another
Example: The boy band is known across all the countries in Asia.

3. neighboring /ˈneɪ bər/ (adj.) – being located near something
Example: I would like to see the products of our neighboring stores.

4. pedal /ˈpɛd l/ (v.) – to move something by using one’s feet, especially a bicycle
Example: Her father taught her how to pedal a bicycle.

5. narrow /ˈnær / (adj.) – referring to something with limited space
Example: The bridge was too narrow for the truck to pass.


Read the text below.
The capital and the largest city of Spain is planning to launch electric bicycles as an alternative means of transportation.

With the aid of Bonopark, a Spanish company known for bike rentals, Madrid is planning on having a new traffic management system and a cleaner mode of transportation. The contract, which includes building park stands and installing bikes, costs 25 million euros ($35 million).

Compared with the traditional bicycle, an electric bicycle (or e-bike) has an electric motor. This helps riders go up easier on high slopes. However, an e-bike is not considered an electric motorcycle since it still needs to be pedaled.

The bike scheme, called the “BiciMad” project, will feature 120 self-service bike stands located across the city. These bike stands will be holding 1,500 e-bikes that can be rented for an unspecified amount.

“BiciMad” is said to follow the same arrangements with that of its neighboring cities. Some of the cities known to have bicycle services are Barcelona, Paris, and London. 

According to Anna Botella, mayor of Madrid, the city government has released an awareness campaign for the said project. She also added that this project will help the government achieve its goal of having a cleaner environment.

However, some motorists feel that this project would only make the roads narrower. According to Pascual Berrone, assistant professor at IESE Business School in Madrid, some of Madrid’s areas are extremely dangerous, making people think twice about using the e-bikes.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         If given the chance, would you consider buying or riding an e-bike? Why or why not?
·         What could be the downside of riding an e-bike in your country?

Discussion B

·         What are the advantages of using a bicycle as public transportation?
·         Should the government provide funds for projects such as this? Why or why not?

July 23, 2014