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Saigon Mulls Establishing Public Bicycle Project in District 1

Will Saigoneers switch to bicycles for their daily commute?

The city is considering a new public bicycle project named Mobike, which was proposed by several private corporations, Tuoi Tre reports.

“The Mobike project — urban bicycle service — aims to provide citizens and office workers a means of transport from home to bus stations and other destinations within a three-kilometer distance,” said Tran Chi Trung, director of the Ho Chi Minh City Center of Public Transportation, adding that the first phase of the project will be carried out in District 1 before moving on to District 3.

In the first phase, the city aims to install 70 to 80 bicycle stations and utilize 80 to 100 bicycles. Each station will be able to store 10 to 20 bicycles.

According to requests from the involved companies, the fee for the service will be VND5,000 for 30 minutes of use. When concerns regarding the lack of infrastructure for bicycles were raised, Trung admitted to the news source that the city indeed doesn't have the facilities for such a project. "The bicycles can go on the sidewalks, District 1's sidewalks are generally better compared to other districts. However there are still sidewalks that are too narrow...not very convenient for bicycles," Trung said.

The project is undergoing a general study. After getting approval from authorities, the companies will conduct a detailed feasibility study to get an idea of what's to come. Keen bikers in Saigon, however, might have to wait a long time for this to become a reality. In 2017, a similar proposal was announced,and according to municipal authorities, city residents would be able to start using a pilot public bike program later that year, but the project has yet to come to fruition.

[Photo: A public bike dock in Barcelona/pixabay]

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