The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of Japan today formally launched a bicycle-sharing scheme which will be tested in three cities for possible replication across developing Asia and the Pacific.
“This initiative will show that urban transport conditions can be improved through the low-cost and zero-emission solution of bicycle-sharing systems,” said Lloyd Wright, Senior Transportation Specialist in ADB’s Regional and Sustainable Development Department.
The cities of Davao in the Philippines and Vientiane in Lao People’s Democratic Republic have been selected as demonstration sites. A third city will be located in Indonesia. The cities were selected after consultations with local, national and international stakeholders.
The project will help improve air quality, as well as reduce the rate of pedestrian accidents and fatalities linked with too many private vehicles on the road. In 1980s, only 9 per cent of the world’s 360 million motorized vehicles were found in the Asia and Pacific region. By 2030, it is estimated that nearly half of the world’s projected 1.5 billion vehicles will be in the region.
Aside from contributing to cleaner air, bicycle-sharing is recognized as a means of traveling on short trips that are too long to walk, and a way to close the gaps between public transport and a rider’s final destination – otherwise known as the “last-mile” issue.
Globally, bicycle-sharing schemes became popular after Paris inaugurated its system in 2007. Since then, more than 300 systems have opened across the Americas, Asia and Europe.
The $2 million project is funded on a grant basis by the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction and administered by ADB.