The traffic congestion in Cairo is something out of this world. One can’t help but be taken aback by the systematic chaos that governs the streets of the Egyptian capital. Yet, this uncomfortable, comfort zone, of ours has problematic impact on our health and environment.
The solution to reducing pollution, noise, and the deeply suppressed anger issues that come with driving or commuting around Cairo is quite obvious and has been implemented worldwide in cities such as Amsterdam. You’ve guessed it! We are talking about bikes. In light of Egypt’s serious efforts to reduce emissions from fuel combustion and ease transportation congestion, the concept of bike-sharing has become more realistic to Egyptians.
In response to this shift in attitude, government officials in Cairo have announced the “Cairo Bike” project, which aims to expand the use of bicycles as a main means of transportation to reduce traffic jams and preserve the environment. The first bike station is going to be deployed somewhere around Cairo by mid-July.
The Cairo Bike project is a bike-sharing system that places bikes at stations in different parts of the city, so that residents can rent them for a while and then leave them at another station for the next user. The users can manage the process through a mobile application and pay only one Egyptian pound per hour through a prepaid recharge card.
Starting in the heart of the capital, the project will first be implemented in Garden City and Zamalek, with a total of 500 bikes, which will be tracked by GPS, and distributed at 45 stations near metro stations and public transport lines. Both, the bicycles and the design of the stations are powered by solar energy which is a great initiative for the environment.
According to a statement by Cairo’s governor, this project aligns with the country’s efforts to support the integration of transportation, health, and environmental practices to reduce harmful emissions in the capital.
Well, that’s all good, but what’s the actual process of renting a bike? As a user of Cairo Bike, you have two options when it comes to signing up. You could do it online through the app, or in-person by visiting the project’s information desk located in Tahrir Square. On the app, you will find a map that directs you to the nearest bike station. Once you arrive you will be able to unlock the bike using the app on your phone. You can then start riding it to different parts of the city, and once you are done with it, you will have to park it at the nearest station. Based on the duration of your trip, the app will calculate the total number of hours and the associated fees based on the aforementioned rate. The app is streamlined and quite easy to use, which makes this a convenient and seamless transportation experience.
It seems that Cairo is on the verge of becoming a bike-friendly city. We have already seen Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi taking part in several cycling marathons and encouraging Egyptians to cycle. The Ministry of Youth and Sports also launched a national sports initiative “A Bike for Every Citizen.” For the first five years, Cairo Bike’s services will be subsidized to maintain affordability for all citizens. We are also expecting to see more bike lanes to be incorporated into the city’s infrastructure to increase the safety and comfort of riders.
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