While Barcelona has a booming startup ecosystem, it has always had a love-hate relationship with the sharing economy. Just think of all the Airbnb scandals and the fact that companies like Uber are not allowed to operate in the city. There has been some progress, especially in the urban mobility scene, but local regulations have yet to loosen up so more and more players can enter the market.
Since we’re in the middle of planning a visit to the YEGO garage on the 20th of November, we thought we’d share an overview of the urban mobility ecosystem in Barcelona with you. These companies make getting around easy and city life more sustainable. Perhaps you’ll find your new go-to mode of transport after reading our list!
Electric kickscooter sharing
Global kickscooter-sharing giants like Lime have not managed to penetrate Barcelona. Another popular brand, Bird has been spotted but its scooters haven’t taken over Barcelona as they have other cities. However, there’s a local player that has recently made some good headway. Reby is a Spain-focused startup that offers on-demand kickscooters that you can find scattered around the city and unlock with an app on your phone. There are no docking stations to return the scooters to, however, you do have to lock them in authorised spots – you can’t just leave them lying around and blocking pathways. It costs €1 to unlock a scooter and you can use it for €0.15 per minute.
If you’d rather have your own kickscooter than share, you can rent one from the Barcelona startup GOMEEP. At €39 per month, GOMEEP is a good option for those who want to use kickscooters regularly rather than occasionally. Within 48 hours of ordering your scooter, a GOMEEP agent will deliver it to your door. They also take care of all repairs, should your scooter break down.
Yes, good old Bicing, the local government’s bikesharing project is still one of the best ways to get around in Barcelona. Lately, they’ve even started adding electric bikes to their offering. Using Bicing probably won’t break the bank – if you sign up for a €35 or €50 annual membership, you only have to pay a low fee for every 30 minutes you ride. On the other hand, Bicing does come with some restrictions since the bikes can only be picked up and dropped off at official docking stations. Good luck trying to find a bike near your house during the morning rush hour!
The easy to spot, bright orange Donkey Republic bikes are present all throughout Europe, including Barcelona. Their pay-as-you-ride option is ideal for both occasional and regular use. And they also have a monthly subscription. Pick-up and drop-off are at designated locations; you use the app to unlock and lock the bike; you enjoy the heck out of pedalling around in a super bike-friendly city like Barcelona.
Electric scooter sharing
When you think of scooter sharing and Barcelona, the first startup that comes to mind is YEGO. You can easily recognise YEGO’s electric scooters by their signature green colour and elegant Vespa-like form. The app is one of the best on the market – its cool design and great usability make booking a scooter completely hassle-free. You can use the scooters for €0.25 per minute or get 20-32% discounts on the standard price by buying packs. YEGO operates in Barcelona, Valencia and Bordeaux. Join us at our visit to the YEGO garage on November 20th to learn more about the company first-hand from its founders!
A popular local player, eCooltra is an electric scooter sharing service with one of the biggest fleets in Barcelona. If you see people riding around on simple white scooters with green and blue helmets, you’ll know they’re eCooltra users. Their door-to-door model allows you to pick up the scooters and drop them off anywhere – as long as you stay within the permitted driving zones. It costs €0.26 per minute, and you can get great deals by buying packs.
Scoot is a widely-known electric mobility company from San Francisco. In Barcelona, they offer both electric scooters and bikes which you can use for €0.28 and €0.15 per minute respectively. With a hipster design that stands out from the crowd, they can be a stylish and affordable choice. Just download the Scoot app and find a bike or a scooter somewhere near you!
The newest addition to the Barcelona motosharing scene, Acciona offers sleek red-white-and-black electric scooters for on-demand use. You can pick them up and drop them off anywhere in the designated driving zones – practically all of Barcelona – for €0.25 per minute. You can save by buying packs of 250 minutes for €50 or 500 minutes for €95.
Carsharing, peer-to-peer car rental and ridesharing
Ubeqoo, operated by the multinational car rental company Europcar, is a great option if you need a car to get around in or outside the city. You can pick up your desired vehicle in its own parking spot (which you’ll have to return it to), and pay by the hour or by the day. The price depends on the size of the car you choose – they have everything from miniature fiats to moving vans. Cars can be found parked throughout the city, and there’s always one within around 150 metres of you.
Another Barcelona-based company, SocialCar deals in peer-to-peer car rental. It’s a cheaper and more convenient alternative to traditional car rentals: you can book cars owned by individuals on the SocialCar website and connect directly with the owner to arrange the pick-up and drop-off. It’s like Airbnb for cars – you’re essentially renting from a neighbour. SocialCar takes care of insurance to your name for the time of the rental, so you don’t have to worry about liability. And, if you happen to have a car that you rarely use, you can rent it out and make some money!
Formerly known as Drivy, Getaround is an easy-to-use, safe and affordable car rental service. Much like SocialCar, you’re renting from individuals who have put their cars up for grabs. You can use the Getaround app to find cars close to you, and you can read ratings and reviews about the vehicles and the owners before you take your pick.
Amovens is a three-in-one ride platform: they offer traditional car rental, peer-to-peer carsharing and ridesharing services. If you need to get from A to B but don’t want to or can’t drive, Amovens’s ridesharing feature will be your go-to. Download the app and find chauffeurs driving around Spain that you can hitch a ride with. It’s an awesome budget travel option and who knows, you might even make some friends along the way.