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Rental bikes to become part of public transport system in Almaty 10 августа 2015, 14:49

Rental bikes will become part of the public transport system in Almaty.
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Photo courtesy of NazZar/vse.kz. Photo courtesy of NazZar/vse.kz.

Rental bikes will become part of the public transport system in Almaty, Tengrinews reports citing the Chairman of Social and Entrepreneurial Corporation Almaty Kairat Kulbayev.

According to the national company official, the city’s main problem is its environment. 80 percent of air pollution comes from cars and in this context, promoting cycling among the city's residents, which is already quite popular, may help further reduce carbon emissions.

“Bike rental is a pressing issue. Almaty residents like bicycles. We plan to consider bike rental not as sport, but as a means of transport. It could link metro and bus stations. (…) It will enable us to use bicycles as public transport within the frameworks of the strategy aimed at reducing air pollution,” Kulbayev said.

The company’s project provides for installation of 200 bike stations with nearly 2,000 bicycles. As for the cost of the project, it requires around $12 million.

The annual subsidies to maintain the bicycle fleet will make almost $1.5 million. “Of this, $300 thousand is what can be generated from ad sales, cards and sponsors. This park will cost approximately $1-1.2 million a year to the city,” he added.

“This is just a draft project. We are only making suggestions now. And the city considers its capabilities and resources. We propose to view it (bike rentals) as a means of public transport,” Kulbayev said.

Furthermore, the company plans to install 200 parking lots for private bicycles in the key parts of the city - near shopping malls and office buildings.

Two automatic bike rentals were installed in Almaty last year. One is located near Baluan Sholak Sports Palace, while the other one is at the crossing of Abay and Abylai Khan streets. 

This is the same bike-sharing system that was introduced in Astana a year ago with the support of Kazakhstan's Samruk Kazyna National Wealth Fund. To be able to use the automatic bike rentals, one should register at the official website of the project. 

Reporting by Vladimir Prokopenko, writing by Assel Satubaldina

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