10:36 | 26/12/2017 Society
Locals and visitors in downtown Ho Chi Minh City will no longer have to trek on foot between bus stations if a plan tabled by a private company to make electric bikes available to the public is approved.
|Two foreigners stuck in a traffic jam in Ho Chi Minh City's District 1 - Photo by VnExpress|
According to the plan, 1,000 electric bikes worth VND15.5 billion ($683,000) will be positioned around bus stations in District 1.
Commuters with a regular demand for the bikes will be able to install an app on their smartphones to create an account for the service.
Users will have to scan QR codes to unlock the vehicles. The fee, which stands at VND3,000 (13 cents) for the first 10 minutes and VND1,500 for each next five minutes, will be subtracted from users’ accounts after every ride.
The plan aims to encourage more people to switch to public transport and cut the number of private vehicles, the main reasons for worsening traffic congestion and air pollution in Vietnam's biggest city.
If the plan proves a success, it will be expanded to other districts around the city with 50,000 motorcycles.
In April, a similar plan to make bicycles available was also put forward, but that appears to have been shelved.
The city's mayor, Nguyen Thanh Phong, said in August that up to 7.6 million motorbikes and 700,000 cars were being used in the city.