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Saigon Transport Department Proposes Yet Another Public Bike Project

According to the proposal, it would include 43 stations around central Saigon.

Tuoi Tre reports that the municipal Department of Transport has devised a public bicycle system and collected feedback from experts and residents, and is awaiting approval from the Ho Chi Minh City People's Committee. The project would be funded by Tri Nam Group JSC, though a total cost has not been revealed. 

Initially, the bicycle network would run on a pilot basis for one year, with the investor providing 388 bikes at 43 stations in District 1, as well as Dien Bien Phu and Vo Thi Sau streets in District 3. 

The news source adds that each station would house up to 20 bikes, each of which will feature smart locks and a GPS system. To use a bike, one would need to download an app called Mobike. 

Currently, the proposed fee for bike rentals is VND5,000 per half hour, while Tri Nam also plans to offer daily, monthly, quarterly and annual tickets. If the system gets approved and becomes reality, the first 15 minutes of bike usage would be free during the first few months of operation. 

This is far from the first time that public bicycles rentals have been floated, and they are rarely introduced anywhere in Vietnam. Back in early 2014, the Ministry of Transport proposed a nationwide scheme, while similar plans were proposed in Saigon twice in 2017 and once last year.

In 2018, a similar scheme using solar-powered bikes was trialed within the campus of the Vietnam National University in Saigon, though it ceased operation after three months due to numerous problems.

[Photo via PXhere user Sittikan Raingkun]