Last year, Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng announced that a RM1.85mil bicycle-sharing system is expected to take off early 2017 at 25 strategic locations on the island. At that time, there were still lots to iron out including setting up the docking stations, touching up the system, finalising the bike-sharestation locations, so on and so forth.
Well, it seems that the first of the many bike-sharestations is up and running!
The bike-sharing system, also known as LinkBike, operated by FAST RENT BIKE (PG) Sdn. Bhd., is an initiative by Penang Island City Council (MBPP) to make Penang an international city like Melbourne, Amsterdam, Tokyo and others. What it does is allow people to borrow a bike from point “A” and return it at point “B”.
With 25 strategic locations (George Town, Queensbay, Straits Quay) and 250 bicycles accessible to would-be riders, anyone can pick up a bike from any of the 25 stations and return it to another station once they’re done.
Would-be riders can check out the LinkBike website to view detailed information on each LinkBike station, including location and available bikes.
How does it work, you ask?
By paying RM2 for a 1-day pass (valid for 24 hours), the rider will get to enjoy a free 30-minute ride followed by a RM1 fee for every subsequent hour. This means that you’ll have to plan your travels and hours of usage well. You can even buy a 1-year pass at RM30, but you’d still be required to dock the bike at the LinkBike station when you’re done.
Interested users just need to sign up via LinkBike’s website or the LinkBike app to purchase credit/a package, pick a bike from any LinkBike station, unlock it by scanning the QR Code using the LinkBike app or via a LinkBike card, and you’re good to ride!
Bike-sharing systems are available in 50 countries on 5 continents, including 712 cities, but Penang is the first to have such a bike-sharing system in the country :)
Among the LinkBike stations are:
- Kelawai Road (Gurney Plaza)
- Jalan Pangkor
- Karpal Singh Drive (opposite Starbucks)
- Jalan Macalister
- Acheh Street (opposite George Town World Heritage Inc office)
- Magazine Road (1st Avenue Mall)
- Penang Road (Campbell Street)
- MWE Swopt
- Jalan Padang Kota Lama (City Hall)
- Bishop Street RHB (junction of King Street)
- Lebuh Light
- Beach Street (OCBC Bank)
- Pengkalan Weld
With more to come! But for now, check out the gallery below for more pictures of the LinkBike station:
*Pictures by lizardboi_88 on Flickr via Lowyat.NET forum.
Personally, we love the idea because not only would it be a new way to connect and commute within George Town, it will also lessen traffic congestion on the island and is good for health while being environmentally friendly. If you’re in town (by that, we mean Penang), give it a shot and let us know how it goes!
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