Saigon pedals public bicycle scheme near bus stations

By Huu Cong   April 21, 2017 | 09:00 am PT
Saigon pedals public bicycle scheme near bus stations
A woman prepares to ride a bike from the new public bike rental program in New York City, U.S. Photo by Carlo Allegri/Reuters
The bike fleet aims to help people move conveniently between transport hubs and cut waiting times.

Ho Chi Minh City is looking to integrate a pilot bike sharing service with the city's bus network in an effort to make public transport more appealing to local people and reduce serious traffic congestion around the city center.

The city's Department of Transport announced the pilot scheme on Friday, saying a number of bike stations will be set up near the city's bus stations, enabling people to move conveniently between transport hubs while cutting waiting times.

The scheme is expected to encourage more people to switch to public transport, a much needed move for the city in its ongoing battle with severe traffic congestion and pollution caused by the rising number of personal vehicles.

The department said it is working with consultancy firms on how to manage its new public bicycle fleet. Electronic locks are the most likely solution, but users will also have to register their personal details.

The department said that the bicycles will be available free of charge for all the trips that last less than an hour. Users may also return the bicycles to any station; not necessarily their departure location.

In another move to attract more bus passengers, authorities are reorganizing the public transport network.

In 2016, the number of passengers using public transport in the city reached 576 million, down 1.39 percent compared to the previous year. However, in the first quarter of 2017, the number of bus users reached 137.5 million, up 2.1 percent from the same period last year.

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