HUẾ CITY — The first phase of the Public Bike Sharing System – an innovative public bike-sharing scheme by the International Co-operation Agency of Germany (GIZ), tech firm Vietsoftpro and the Thừa Thiên-Huế People’s Committee – has been launched in Huế City to develop a bicycle transportation plan for 2021-2026.
The pilot project uses 80 bicycles for seven stations in the inner city and destinations along the Hương River in the first phase before expanding to 19 or 20 stations with a total of 500 bicycles in 2023.
The cycling promotion project will help visitors and local residents to access public bicycles and a safe cycling environment in the wider smart city concept in supporting Huế to be a low-carbon urban centre.
It is also expected to contribute to improving the physical and mental health and quality of life of residents and conserve Huế, a UNESCO-recognised world heritage site and tourist attraction.
Public bike-sharing is an important part of an urban mobility transformation that links industry 4.0 technologies and sustainable development. It not only contributes significantly to emissions reduction in the transport sector and the resulting improvement in air quality but also improves the convenience and quality of public transport services for residents and visitors.
Public bike-sharing also helps commuters connect with public buses and vehicles conveniently while promoting public transport.
Hội An City and Wernigerode, its twin town in Germany, plan to develop an ‘eco road’ that will promote bicycling in ‘green’ tourism destinations from the Old Quarter to An Bàng beach.
The 5km, which reserved a bicycle lane, offers a rural experience and eco-tour sites of Trà Quế vegetable garden zone, Cẩm Thanh nipa palm, and An Bàng beach.
The two cities have boosted cultural cooperation by providing a solar-powered system for public lighting, loudspeakers, and lanterns in Hội An from 2019.
Hội An, a UNESCO-recognised World Heritage city, hopes to encourage the use of 100,000 bicycles among residents.
Since 2002, the tourism hub has assigned several streets for pedestrian and non-engined vehicles to reduce noise and pollution in the Old Quarter. Most foreign tourists use bicycles for touring the city, beaches and villages.
The city became the first locality in the country to host a Car Free Day. It has also been praised for its efforts to ban plastic bags and its 3R (reduce, re-use and recycle) programme.
A pilot bicycle sharing system was also launched in Hội An, in cooperation with GIZ, Hội An and Health Bridge Canada in 2019, encouraging residents to move from petrol power to pedal power in the UNESCO-recognised World Heritage Site.
Huế and Hội An were beneficiaries of the programme ‘Promote and Pilot a Public Bike-Sharing (PBS) Scheme in Việt Nam towards Sustainable Urban Mobility and Smart Cities’ with funding from the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). — VNS