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Public Bike Rental Service to Launch in Saigon on Friday

Saigoneers are about to have a new way to get around town.

VnExpress reports that Tri Nam Corporation plans to debut its long-discussed public bike rental system on December 10 — this Friday. Up to 500 bicycles will be placed at 43 stations around central Saigon.

The bikes are outfitted with GPS and Bluetooth-linked smart locks, while the rental cost is VND5,000 for 30 minutes and VND10,000 for one hour. Other pricing will be announced in the future, and initially the first 15 minutes will be free for riders.

Tuoi Tre News adds that the bike station at the corner of Nguyen Hue and Le Loi opened early last weekend to give residents a chance to try out the bikes. In order to use the system, users must install the TNGO app, which shows the nearest station and also lets people choose what time they would like to rent a bike at. The app is currently only available in Vietnamese.

The bike rental network was originally scheduled to debut in April, but that was delayed due to the COVID-19 app. It will operate under a trial basis for one year, after which Tri Nam and local officials will decide on future steps. 

Saigoneer visited the first station earlier this week, but no bikes were available, and there was also no sign of infrastructure such as bike racks or signage for the system. 

This comes at a time when many city residents have embraced cycling post-lockdown, with bike shops around town running out of rental bikes on a regular basis.

[Photo by Gia Minh via Thanh Nien]

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