quinta-feira, 22 de setembro de 2011

Bike sharing around the world

Bike sharing around the world

In Biking
09 September 2011 | By Suemedha Sood
Barclays Cycle Hire docking station
A Barclays Cycle Hire docking station in London. (Laurence Coss/BBC)
Bike sharing is on the verge of becoming an integral part of public transportation in cities across the globe.
This system of impromptu bike renting is helping urban areas reduce automotive traffic and pollution while providing locals and tourists with a convenient, cheap and healthy means of transport.
Currently, there are nearly 300 organized bike sharing programs worldwide. That number is growing – and not just in the West. In India, for example, the Ministry of Urban Development is preparing to launch a 10-city public bike scheme as part of its “Mission for Sustainable Habitat”.
So how does bike sharing work? In most cities, visitors can purchase short-term subscriptions at bike stations themselves. Just walk up to a station’s electronic kiosk, choose the duration for which you need access to the service, and swipe your credit card. You will receive an unlocking code which you can then use to release a bike from the docking station. Then you can start exploring the city via bicycle. When you reach your destination, find a nearby station and return your bike. Make sure to lock the bike carefully by pushing the front wheel into an empty dock. Most docks will show a green light and/or make a beeping sound when bikes are correctly secured.
Long-term subscriptions can usually be purchased online. During the time of your subscription (however short or long), you can rent and return a bike as many times as you want.
Bike sharing is a fun, easy, environmentally friendly way to explore a new place. Here are eight cities with great 24-hour bike sharing programs that travellers should know about.
Although community bicycle sharing has been around since at least the 1960s, Paris’s Vélib’ became the first high-profile program to spark global interested in organized bike sharing when it launched to great success in 2007. The program currently has about 20,000 bikes and 1,800 bike stations (one located every 300 metres), yielding about 50 million unique rides annually.
The details: Vélib’ required subscriptions are available for 1.70 euros per day, 8 euros per week, or 29 euros per year. Once you’ve subscribed, half-hour rides are free but each additional half-hour costs 1 euro for up to one-and-a-half hours. After that, each additional half-hour costs 2 euros.
Hangzhou, China
With more than 50,000 bikes and 2,050 bike stations, the Chinese city of Hangzhou is home to the world’s largest bike sharing program. Bike sharing is well integrated with other forms of public transport, with bike stations available near bus and water taxi stops.
The details: For tourists, a refundable deposit of 300 yuan is required to take out Hangzhou Public Bikes. Hour-long rides are free. Each additional hour costs 1 yuan each, for up to three hours. After that, each additional hour costs 3 yuan.
Washington DC
Washington DC’s Capital Bikeshare program is the largest of its kind in the United States. Currently, demand for bikes outweighs supply.
The details: Capital Bikeshare memberships are available for $5 per day, $15 for five days, $25 per month or $75 per year. Once you’ve purchased a membership, half-hour rides are free and each additional half-hour costs $1.50 for up to one-and-a-half hours. After that, each additional half-hour costs $6.
Mumbai, India
There are two bike sharing programs in Bombay: FreMo, which stands for “Freedom to Move”, and the student-run Cycle Chalao!, which translates to “Come on, let’s cycle!”. Both are small programs, but they are growing into a movement. Cycle Chalao! has recently teamed up with India’s national government to launch citywide programs across the subcontinent.
The details: Find FreMo’s various membership and pricing options at its website. For Cycle Chalao!’s rates, visit its stations near universities in Mumbai.
London’s Barclays Cycle Hire has only been operating for about a year, but it’s already quite user friendly. Since launching, casual users have gone on more than one million unique rides. Its interactive map plots out the city’s docking stations, providing real-time information on the number of bikes and parking spaces available at each one.
The details: Barclays Cycle Hire costs 1 pound per day, 5 pounds per week or 45 pounds per year. Half-hour rides are free. For longer rides, additional usage charges apply.
Mexico City
Last year, the populous and traffic-heavy Mexico City surprised the world by launching the EcoBici bike sharing program. Despite the city’s lack of bike lanes, EcoBici has around 30,000 registered members – and reported accidents have fortunately been few and far between.
The details: EcoBici riders have just one option: a year-long subscription for 300 pesos, which grants them an unlimited number of 45-minute rides. For longer rides, additional usage charges apply. Remember to return your bike within 24 hours, though, or you will incur a penalty of 5,000 pesos.
Melbourne, Australia
To introduce tourists to a new way of exploring the city, Melbourne, Australia is offering a Bike Share Tour. If you are already accustomed to bike sharing, opt instead for a Bicycle Tour, including a trip to Swanston Street, the Yarra River and/or the Port Phillip Bay.
The details: Melbourne Bike Share mandatory subscriptions are available for 2.50 Australian dollars per day, 8 Australian dollars per week, or 50 Australian dollars per year. You can rent up to two bikes at the same time. If you need helmets, participating 7-11 stores sell them for 5 Australian dollars each (you can then return them to get 3 Australian dollars back each). Half-hour rides are free. For longer rides, additional usage charges apply.
Exploring Dublin via bicycle is an age-old pastime for travellers to Ireland. Now, the dbs, or dublinbikes program has made this mode of transport even more convenient for visitors. While this bike share is currently modest in size, it is doing very well and has plans to expand rapidly.
The details: The dublinbikes program has 44 stations and 550 bikes. Visitors can either purchase a long-term hire card for 10 euros or a 3-day ticket for 2 euros. Only 15 bike stations have electronic kiosks for purchasing short-term tickets, though. Find those stations here. Half-hour rides are free. For longer rides, additional usage charges apply.

terça-feira, 20 de setembro de 2011


War of the Ragamuffins

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Farroupilha Revolution)
War of the Ragamuffins
Charge of the Cavalry, Guilherme Litran (Júlio de Castilhos Museum, Porto Alegre, Brazil), depicting the Ragamuffin army[1].
Date September 19, 1835 – March 1, 1845
Location Southern Brazil
Result Brazilian victory
 Riograndense Republic
 Juliana Republic
Kingdom of Italy (1861–1946) Italian volunteers
Empire of Brazil Empire of Brazil
Commanders and leaders
Riograndense Republic Bento Gonçalves da Silva
Riograndense Republic Antônio de Sousa Neto
Juliana Republic David Canabarro
Kingdom of Italy (1861–1946) Giuseppe Garibaldi
Empire of Brazil Luís Alves de Lima e Silva
Empire of Brazil Manuel Marques de Sousa
+40.000 republicans separatists. +60.000 imperial soldiers.
The War of the Ragamuffins (Portuguese: Guerra dos Farrapos) was a Republican uprising that began in southern Brazil, in the states of Rio Grande do Sul and Santa Catarina in 1835. The rebels, led by generals Bento Gonçalves da Silva and Antônio de Sousa Neto with the support of the Italian fighter Giuseppe Garibaldi, surrendered to imperial forces in 1845.
The war was the cause of the rushed coronation of Dom Pedro II, at that time 15 years old in 1841, in direct violation of the Brazilian constitution. It is considered the second bloodiest civil war to have ever occurred in Brazil, after the War of Cabanagem.



[edit] The War

The uprising is believed to have begun due to the difference between the economy of Rio Grande do Sul and the rest of the country. Unlike the other provinces, the state economy focused in the internal market rather than exporting commodities, the state's main product, charque (dried and salted beef), suffering badly from competition from charque imported from Uruguay and Argentina, which had free access to Brazilian markets while the gauchos (as residents of Rio Grande do Sul are nicknamed) were charged high taxes inside Brazil.
In 1835, Antônio Rodrigues Fernandes Braga was nominated president of Rio Grande do Sul and at first his appointment pleased the liberal farmers, but that soon changed. In his first day in the office, he accused many farmers of being separatists.
On September 20, 1835, General Bento Gonçalves captured the capital, Porto Alegre, beginning an uprising against the perceived unfair trade reinforced by the state government; the state president fled to the city of Rio Grande, two hundred kilometers to the south. In Porto Alegre, the rebels, also known as farrapos (Ragamuffins), elected Marciano Pereira Ribeiro their new president.
Responding to the situation and further upsetting the Ragamuffin rebels, the Brazilian regent, Diogo Feijó, appointed a new state president, who was forced to take office in exile in Rio Grande.
Battle of Fanfa.
Battle Field.
Pushing for consolidation of their power, Antônio de Souza Netto declared the independence of the Piratini Republic on September 11, 1836 with Bento Gonçalves as president nominee. However, Bento was arrested and jailed by imperial forces until he escaped in 1837, returning to the province and bringing the revolution to a head. Nonetheless, Porto Alegre was recaptured by the empire and the rebels never managed to regain it.
The Italian revolutionary Giuseppe Garibaldi joined the rebels in 1839. With his help, the revolution spread through Santa Catarina, which adjoined Rio Grande do Sul to the north. The capital of Santa Catarina, Laguna, was taken by the Ragamuffins; but, after four months, Laguna fell back into imperial hands.
It was in this struggle that Garibaldi gained his first military experience and got on the road leading to his becoming the famed military leader of the Unification of Italy.

[edit] Peace

In 1840, amnesty was offered to the rebels, which they refused although it was clear that they had no chances of winning, followed by the issuing of a republican constitution by the Ragamuffins in 1842, as a last attempt to maintain power. The same year saw General Lima e Silva (soon Duke of Caxias) take office and try to find a diplomatic settlement of the situation.
On March 1, 1845, the peace negotiations led by Lima e Silva and Antônio Vicente da Fontoura concluded with the signing of the Ponche Verde Treaty between the two sides, in Dom Pedrito.
The treaty offered the rebels a full amnesty, full incorporation into the imperial army and the choice of the next provincial president. All the debts of the Riograndense Republic were paid off by the Empire and a tariff of 25% was introduced on imported charque.[2]
As a goodwill gesture, the Ragamuffins chose Lima e Silva as the next provincial president.

[edit] References

  1. ^ It is noteworthy that the pennons flying from the cavalrymen's lances are not the Green, Red and Yellow Flag of the Riograndense Republic, but the Black, Red and Gold of the Flag of Germany, at this time a brand-new creation which got wide fame, far outside the boundaries of Germany, through the 1832 Hambach Festival. And at this time it was considered very much a revolutionary flag, standing for Liberty and Civil Rights as much as it stood for German Nationalism
  2. ^ The Treaty did not stay clearly if Riograndense and Juliana republics remained independent; however, they stayed in the Empire, and are nowadays two states of the Federative Republic of Brazil, Rio Grande do Sul and Santa Catarina respectively.