Background: Public bike-sharing schemes have gained enormous popularity worldwide. However, so far most of the research has focused on issues regarding the functioning of these schemes in cities, with little attention on how these systems are perceived and managed by urban planning authorities, which is the aim of this paper. Methods: The analysis is set in Santiago, a highly segregated city composed of 37 independent districts. Two focus groups with urban planning authorities belonging to districts with and without functioning bike-sharing schemes were conducted. Information was processed using a thematic analysis framework, which permitted to reduce, reorganize, and analyze these testimonial data. Results: The main results show that bike-sharing schemes are perceived as being part of a larger phenomenon related to the city’s socio-economic differences. A series of issues emerged that are related to urban planning authorities limitations in terms of governance and availability of planning instruments and strategies to cope with contrasting realities of the city. It was noted that bike-sharing schemes are helping to improve a neighborhood image, while, at the same time, promoting contemporary and cosmopolitan lifestyles. However, the functioning of bike-sharing schemes also is a reminder of the fragmented and dysfunctional governance of Santiago.
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