A RM1.85mil bicycle-sharing system is expected to take off early next year at 25 strategic locations on the island, said Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng.
He said the Link Bike Sharing System would be operated by Fast Rent Bike (Penang) Sdn Bhd, with 250 bicycles accessible under the state’s maiden public bike-sharesystem.
“The scheme is an initiative by the Penang Island City Council (MBPP) which is working with the operator to set up the docking stations.
“It will be a new way to connect and commute within George Town. Anyone can pick up a bike from any of the 25 stations and return it to another station.
“Penang will be the first to have such a bike-share system in the country, bringing the state closer to being an international city like Melbourne, Amsterdam, Tokyo and others,” he said at the system’s soft launch at the Penang City Park on Sunday.
Fast Rent Bike (Penang) Sdn Bhd director Ken Yeoh said the system was being touched up, adding thata card or QR code system would be utilised to release the bicycle from the docking stations.
“By paying RM3 for a day pass,the user will get to enjoy a free 30-minute ride followed by a RM1 fee for every subsequent hour.
“We will also get some security deposit to ensure that the bicycle is returned but all this is still being worked out at the moment,” he said.
Among the proposed bike-sharestations are at Weld Quay (opposite the ferry terminal), Light Street (Fort Cornwallis), Jalan Padang Kota Lama (City Hall), Beach Street (Malaysia Tourism Office, OCBC Bank, MBPP Building, junction of Armenian Street), Bishop Street (junction of King Street), Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling (The Star Pitt St), Chulia Street (Little India, AirAsia office), Muntri Street, Acheh Street (opposite George Town World Heritage Inc office), Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah (MWE Plaza), Farquhar Street (opposite E&O Hotel), Penang Road (Federal Hotel, Campbell Street junction, Kimberley Street junction), Magazine Road (1st Avenue Mall), Jalan Datuk Keramat (Gama), Kelawei Road (Gurney Plaza), Gurney Drive (Paragon Mall), Straits Quay Marina Mall, Karpal Singh Drive (opposite Starbucks) and Queensbay Mall.
Giving the thumbs up to the bike- share idea, student Shamini Vasu, 19, said hopefully, the system would be like the one in the United Kingdom.
“I was there last year and used the bike-sharing system to travel from campus to campus or to other places for just a pound. The fact that we are introducing it here is simply cool.
“Not only is it environmentally friendly, it is also good for health and can benefit many, especially in our tourist sites,” she said.
Businessman Khaw Siang Hee, 54, commended the system as it would boost Penang’s cycling initiative.
Earlier, Lim flagged off more than 3,700 cyclists on a 84km ride around the island for Ideal Property Group’s Campaign for a Lane (CFAL) event.
Organiser and G Club chairman Datuk Dr Lim Seh Guan thanked Ideal Property executive chairman Datuk Alex Ooi for stepping up to sponsor the eighth edition of the event.