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Da Nang Will Pilot a Public Bicycle-Sharing Program to Reduce Traffic

To combat increasing traffic and pollution concerns, the city will trial a high-tech bicycle-sharing program.

Authorities recently announced the plan to make bicycles available at 30 to 40 locations throughout the city. Users will be able to unlock and rent the bikes via smartphone applications and pay by the hour, day or month electronically, or in-person with cash at service stations inside other businesses. Around 5–10 bikes will be introduced at each location near bus stations and other key roads. Several bike-only lanes are also being implemented throughout the city.

Car use is Da Nang is growing 12% per year and motorbike use by 10.5%, according to VnExpress. Officials expect traffic congestion to pose a serious problem by 2020 if current trends continue. The pilot bike program will take place in Hai Chau, Ngu Hanh Son and Son Tra districts in the city.

Other cities in Vietnam have recently experimented with public bicycle-sharing programs to varying degrees of success. Riders in Hoi An have taken to them, but the initiatives have failed to gain traction in Saigon or Hanoi. Numerous developed nations, such as Singapore and the United States, have introduced similar public and private services. Amidst the growing trend, however, have been many high-profile failures, resulting in abandoned or unused bicycles

Da Nang is also trying to address its congestion concerns via a proposed US$3 billion metro system. Moreover, Vietnam's third-largest city has revealed ambitious plans to become a smart city by 2020.

[Photo: Public bikes at a station in Taiwan/Formosa Guide]

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