Riding on green message

PENANG will become the first state in the country to have an automated bicycle sharing system.

Penangite-owned Public Bike Share Sdn Bhd has won an open tender of request for proposal (RFP) to design, operate and maintain the system called ‘Penang Bike Share’ in George Town.

The RFP which began on Dec 31 last year and closed on April 7 saw the Penang Municipal Council receiving four tenders — two from Penang, one from Kuala Lumpur and one from Selangor.

Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said Public Bike Share won the tender after numerous technical meetings and tender evaluation.

“Public Bike Share Sdn Bhd will bear all the cost of RM9.2mil in planning, preparing, operating and maintenance of the bicycle sharing system excluding a 12-year concession period.

“The estimated operation cost per year is approximately RM750,000 and the company will pay the council a total of RM1.5mil in concession fees from Year Seven.

“The concession fee is RM100,000 for Year Seven, RM200,000 for Year Eight, and RM300,000 each from Year Nine to Year 12,” Lim told a press conference at his office in Komtar yesterday.

Lim said the public would be able to enjoy the system at 25 stations, 1,000 bicycle docks and usage of 500 bicycles.

“The project is expected to start in May next year and complete by 2017.

“With a simple access pass, one can pick up a bicycle at any station and ride, commute or cycle to a destination of his choice.

“The system is to promote cycling as an alternative mode of transport and to introduce a more healthy and environment-friendly scene,” Lim said.

Public Bike Share founder and chief executive officer Hubert Fong said they had a vision to contribute to the traffic plan for Penang and to encourage children to use bicycles as a mode of transport.

“We hope to involve the public as much as we can in the design of this network,” Fong said.

He added that the public could use prepaid bike pass, credit card or Mobile App to rent the bicycles.

Company marketing manager Thomas Tan said the details on the rental were still under discussion and yet to be finalised.

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