Just a day after reporting about Lebanon’s first bike sharing system launching in Beirut, it has already expanded into Byblos. The Byblos project is financed by Both Bike 4 All and The IBL Bank. With no burden on the municipality. More details have come out about this incredible project. The official launch is this Friday and within 2-3 months, there will be 25 stations set up. The municipality of Beirut is providing the space for the stations but won’t be funding the project. Beirut Governor Issam Kaskas said:
The project was originally aimed at helping university students to get to and from classes without having to drive their cars and deal with the hassle of parking
Universities in Beirut will each get one station and 12 bicycles. They may consider adding another station if it proves to be popular. Some universities have upper and lower gates, so they may add one to each. To jump-start the initiative
there will be no charge to use the bike sharing system in the first year
. The organizations involved agreed they would set a price after the project had been piloted. Kaskas made it clear that there was no intention of making the service prohibitively expensive. He said:
It will be geared toward students and very student-friendly in terms of pricing.
In terms of payment, users will be able to pay via a specialized prepaid card, student ID cards or bank cards. Cash will not be an option because it will create the potential for theft. Each bicycle will have GPS and there will be designated lanes for riders. Kaskas said a route from Central Beirut along the seaside road to Bliss and Hamra will be in place within the next one to two months that will be able to accommodate a proposed 250 bikes. For those living outside Beirut, the project for the bike sharing system will eventually expand so commuters can get into the city using the system. A shuttle will take commuters from the parking lots to the bicycle stations. A parking lot will be established at the north and south entrances to Beirut. Kaskas added:
This is a healthy, environmentally friendly, economical and touristic project … if it succeeds, it can be used across the entire nation.
The bike sharing system is currently also being considered in Jbeil, Sidon and Tripoli.