Egypt launches Cairo Bike, establishes 5 stops in Downtown Cairo ahead of COP27 ( Photo Courtesy: Offical Facebook Page of Cairo governorate)
The governorate inaugurated the project by setting up five stops for the pilot operation at Tahrir, Mohamed Farid, and Abdel-Moneim Riyad Squares, in addition to El-Falaki and Abdel-Khaleq Tharwat Streets in Downtown Cairo, according to a statement released on Tuesday.
Once fully operational, the first phase of the project will include 250 bicycles distributed across 26 stations.
Users can rent a bike for EGP 1/hour and EGP 8 for the whole day through a mobile application or with prepaid cards. All bikes are fitted with a GPS tracker.
The Cairo Bike Project, which aims to reduce harmful gas emissions, was launched ahead of the 27th UN Conference of Parties on Climate Change (COP27) that will be held in Sharm El-Sheikh this November, Cairo Governor Khalid Abdel-Aal said on Tuesday.
It is a project that aims to encourage and promote the use of bicycles as an alternative means of transportation. It is also the first bike-sharing system to be implemented by the government in Egypt.
The project depends on the presence of a large network of points where bikes are available for public use through the mobile application, Abdel-Aal said, adding that the stations will be available in Garden City, Zamalek, and Downtown as a start.
Moreover, the governorate seeks to support the integration of transportation with health and environmental practices to limit harmful greenhouse gas emissions in the capital.
It also seeks to reduce the increasing dependence on cars within the framework of the diversity of healthy and eco-friendly transportation, which will contribute to reducing traffic congestion in the Downtown area, he added.
Cairo will be the pioneer in implementing this project, as this system is the first of its kind in Egypt, given that previous experiences were limited to closed urban communities or in other narrow areas.
The project is being implemented by the governorate in partnership with UN-Habitat and Swiss non-profit Drosos Foundation, with technical support and supervision by the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP).
The second phase, which will be inaugurated in mid-September, will distribute an additional 250 bicycles over 19 stations.
Additionally, all stations are set to be powered by solar energy and secured with surveillance cameras.
The project — which was delayed after being first introduced in 2017 — brings an alternative, environmentally friendly means of public transportation in Downtown and its surrounding areas, which are known for their traffic congestion and gridlocked streets.
Furthermore, bicycle lanes are expected to be established soon as part of the state’s new infrastructure plan — a move that would help increase the number of bike riders on the streets of the capital.
The government, however, is yet to announce the specifics of this project, including where the cycle lanes will be placed and when they expect to finish them.
Previously, President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi emphasised the importance of physical activity in general and cycling in particular for people’s health.