(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Introduced city-wide, the "Bicycle Sharing" programme that is based on a similar bicycle sharing programme of London, Switzerland and Paris, has made Sharjah the first city in the Middle East and fourth worldwide to use this new approach for promoting tourism.
The Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) has initiated the "Bicycle Sharing Programme", to give people an opportunity to experience the emirate in a different way.
Marwan bin Jassim Al Sarkal, CEO of Shurooq, told Khaleej Times that Dubai has introduced this programme around Burj Khalifa only, but in Sharjah it is city-wide thing.
"In the present scenario, tourists can go around Sharjah by walking, cycling and taking the sightseeing buses and we will continue to set up bicycle rental stations until all touristic areas are completely covered," Al Sarkal said.
A total of 16 bicycles are now ready for use in four official bicycle terminals located at Khalid Lake Station, Burj Park (Mamzar), Emaar Square Station at Jamal Abdul Naser Station and Hilton Al Buhairah Station. "We will be adding more bicycles as the programme gains popularity among more tourists and residents in touring around the city," Al Sarkal said.
Bicycles can be rented for half an hour and up to 24 hours with prices ranging from Dh15 (30 minutes) to Dh80 (24 hrs). Customers can pay the rent by credit card or debit card and will just need a user card that can be issued via www.bykystaton.com.
Renting a bicycle is as easy as calling the terminal hotline 800-3330 to register. They will then receive a code and they have a certain duration within which they have to unlock the bike from the rack and open its combination lock.
Customers must return the bicycle within the stipulated time at any of the four terminals to avoid being fined. When they will place the bike into the rack, it will be automatically get locked with an acoustic signal that indicates "successful return".
Returning the bicycle at an unauthorised station will result in a fine of Dh60 per 10km. If there is no acoustic signal, the customer has to confirm the return at the terminal and if the bicycle is not locked at the station, a Dh15 fine is imposed on the user. Losing the bicycle will lead to a fine Dh1,500.