Residents in Ho Chi Minh City were allowed to experience a public bicycle rental service after one of its stations was put into operation on Saturday.
The station, located on the sidewalk of Le Loi Street in District 1, is among the 43 stations that the municipal authorities have designated to operate the bike sharing service.
Tri Nam Group JSC, developer of the rental system, is now making the final preparations at the remaining 42 stations before a pilot phase begins on December 10, said Do Ba Quan, the firm’s chairman.
These stations, each covering 10-15 square meters, are situated on the sidewalks of multiple streets in District 1 and are close to local bus stops, parks, and popular tourist destinations.
|A man helps his grandson use a bicycle of the bike sharing service in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, December 4, 2021. Photo: Hoang An / Tuoi Tre|
There will be about 10 to 20 bicycles at each station.
The developer previously imported 500 bikes in late October.
The bicycles are equipped with smart locks, GPS systems, 2G, 3G, and 4G networks, Bluetooth, a distinctive plate number, as well as front baskets and headlights.
|An attendant helps a man sign up for the service on his smartphone. Photo: Hoang An / Tuoi Tre|
People are required to install the TNGO app on their smartphone and fill out personal information to use the rental service.
The app allows users to locate the nearest station as well as select the time they would like to rent the bikes.
After paying rental, customers will be provided with a QR code to unlock a bicycle.
The fee is expected to be VND5,000 (US$0.22) per 30 minutes and VND10,000 ($0.44) per hour.
During the first stage of operation, the first 15 minutes will be free of charge.
|People are required to install the TNGO app to use the service. Photo: Hoang An / Tuoi Tre|
The pilot phase of the public bicycle rental service had been scheduled to begin in April but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This phase is expected to last one year before the developer and local authorities tailor the service to the real demand.
Nguyen Van Thanh, a local resident, believed that the service would offer a good means of transportation for people to travel in downtown areas.
It will help minimize the use of motorbikes, reduce travel cost, and protect the environment, Thanh stated.
|Young residents try out the bike sharing service in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, December 4, 2021. Photo: Hoang An / Tuoi Tre|
|Young residents use the bike sharing service in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, December 4, 2021. Photo: Hoang An / Tuoi Tre|