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Saigon Approves 1-Year Trial of App-Based Public Bike Program

Where would you ride your bike?

Tuoi Tre reports that the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Transportation has given in-principle approval to a pilot public bike-sharing program that would last for 12 months.

Created by Tri Nam Group JSC, the system would include 43 bike-parking stations on central streets including Ham Nghi, Nguyen Hue, Vo Van Kiet, Nam Ky Khoi Nghia, Ton Duc Thang and more. Each station will house up to 20 bikes, each of which will be equipped with a smart lock and GPS tracking for security.

In order to use a bike, one would need to install an app called Mobike on their phone, while the proposed prices are VND5,000 per half hour. A range of tickets from 15 minutes to an annual pass will also be available, while for the first few months of the pilot scheme, the first 15 minutes of bike usage will be free.

Users will be required to enter personal information before using the service, and the bikes will be monitored through internal software to ensure that they are not stolen.

After the year-long pilot phase ends, city officials will assess the bike sharing system's success, and then decide whether or how to integrate into existing public transportation networks, including the possibility of developing dedicated bicycle lanes.

The news source also shares that local leaders aim to eventually create a mobile app that would integrate all public transit, including future metro lines and public bike networks, in one place.

At the time of writing, it remains unclear when exactly Mobike may come into existence, as the city Standing People's Committee still needs to approve the project. No timeline has been provided for how long it would take to set the system up once full approval is given, either.

A public bike-sharing system for Saigon has been in consideration since at least April of 2017, when city officials announced their intention to create such a network.

[Top photo via Khanh Hoa 24h]

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