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Posted On: 22 June 2010 04:35 pm
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:10 pm

Bikes on corniche continue to puzzle people

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Dozens of ‘no biking’ signs are conspicuously displayed in the Corniche but near the Sheraton Park a bicycle station with 10 brand new bicycles docked continues to puzzle visitors in the popular leisure spot in the city. The bikes which are an exact semblance of Velib bicycles in Paris look tempting that visitors could not help but inspect them and the interactive terminal while some take photographs. As the bikes have been in place for quite sometime now, people have been wondering when they are going to be opened for public use. Decaux, a subsidiary of France-based JCDecaux, a renowned company for outdoor advertising, is the provider of the bikes which have become popular in many cities. JCDecaux has provided eco-friendly communal bicycle schemes across 67 cities in the world including Paris, Brussels, Luxembourg and Dublin among others. In Paris alone, there are 20,000 bikes in operation a far cry from 10,000 units when it was launched three years ago. The robust grey bicycles are three-speed bicycles which have a locking system and a front bicycle basket. They are stationed in stands with an automatic rental terminal equipped with maps showing locations of different stations. By inserting a subscription, debit or credit card into the interactive terminal, users can make use of the bike immediately released from a stand. Users return the borrowed bicycles when they have finished with them to any docking station. Sources say the bicycles are displayed in preparation for a major project in Doha toward its initiative to be the region’s bicycle city. Just recently, the Ministry of Municipality and Urban Planning announced its master plan to build infrastructure to increase safety among bikers and make the project successful to promote biking as both a leisure and functional activity among people here. Providers of the bikes said they are just waiting for the green light from local authorities to launch the project which would make Doha the first Middle Eastern city to take advantage of the innovative bikes. “Definitely it would benefit everyone once the bikes are opened to the public. People here would enjoy another healthy pastime,” said an Indian resident, adding it would also be an effective way of reducing the country’s carbon footprint.