The aim is to promote cycling as an alternative mode of transport in Penang. But more dedicated cycling lanes have to be introduced to make it safer for Penangites to cycle.
Statement from the Chief Minister:
Public Bike Share Sdn. Bhd Won The MPPP Tender For Design, Install, Operate And Maintain A Bicycle Sharing System In George Town, Penang For RM9.2 Million Funded By The Private Sector
Over the past few decades, Malaysia, and much of the world, began to embrace a car-centric transport culture, full of highways and car parks. The humble bicycle lost its place among the people following the influx of cars into our society.
As London, New York, Taipei and Melbourne opened up their streets with better infrastructure for cycling, Bike Share Systems in these cities have re-introduced cycling to our modern era. On such a system, no longer do you have to be tethered to your vehicle. With a simple access pass, you can pick up a bicycle at any station, Ride, Commute and Cycle to a destination of your choice, returning the bicycle there with ease and convenience.
In line with the state government’s vision of turning Penang into a bicycle state, it is with pleasure that I announce that Penang will be getting its own Bike Share system. This is a move to encourage Penangites to cycle as the first step to an evolution in the state’s transport system. The system is to promote cycling as an alternative mode of transport and to introduce a more healthy and environment-friendly scene. We believed that the system will significantly relieve traffic congestion in Penang, improve visitors’ experience by making places accessible without a car. This project supports the State Government’s commitment to a Cleaner, Greener, Safer and Healthier Penang, and is a stepping stone to a public transport future in Penang.
The Open Competitive Tender of RFP (Request For Proposal) For Design, Install, Operate and Maintain A Bicycle Sharing System In George Town began on 31/12/2013 and closed on 7/4/2014. MPPP received 4 tenders proposal after the deadline. Companies participating in the tender includes 2 companies from Penang, 1 company from KL and 1 from Selangor. Penangites-owned Public Bike Share Sdn. Bhd won the tender after numerous technical meetings and tender evaluation.
Public Bike Share Sdn. Bhd will bear all the cost of planning, preparing, operating and maintenance of the Bicycle Sharing System with a 12-years concession period. Estimated operation cost per year will be approximately RM 750,000. The company will pay MPPP a concession fee beginning from year-7, with RM100,000, year-8 of RM 200,000, and RM300,000 each year for year-9 to year-12, with a total sum of RM 1.5 million.
The rental of the bicycle will be by using a prepaid bike pass, credit card or Mobile app.
Once again Penang leads by becoming the first state in Malaysia that provides an automated bicycle sharing system. Penang will be able to enjoy a Bicycle sharing system with at least 25 stations, 1000 bicycles docks and 500 bicycles in the George Town area. The project will be on our street as early as May 2015, with the network planned to be completed by 2017. Assisting the state government and MPPP, Public Bike Share Sdn. Bhd. will undertake to realise a low carbon emitting, traffic congestion free future.
For each car on our roads, we can fit five bicycles on the same infrastructure. A bike share network will improve public transport networks via the introduction of a transport alternative, and ease overall traffic congestion in Penang. The initiative will kick start local businesses and cycling related enterprises, cementing Penang as our nation’s first cycling state and capital. Public Bike Share Sdn. Bhd will undertake the project with full private sector funding, with no contribution from the state government.
Just as cycling is gaining popularity in Penang, the Penang state government is committed to supporting this movement with better infrastructure. As such, we invite residents, tourists and businesses alike to get on your bicycles, and let us all ride together to turn Penang into Malaysia’s first cycling state.
LIM GUAN ENG
Some questions arise:
- What do you think of this concept?
- What will it take for Penangites to turn to cycling?
- Who are the key players, shareholders and directors behind Public Bike Share Sdn Bhd?
- What do you think of the terms of the concession?
- What were the rival bids like?
- Will smaller bike rental shops be affected?
- Does this go far enough? Should it be extended beyond George Town?