ASTANA – Stations with bikes for rent have been placed around the city and opened for rental on April 15, according to the akimat (city administration) press service.
Last year, the number of bicycle stations was increased to 150 with more than 1,800 bicycles in use. Around 1,378 users registered. Most of the stations are located within 300-500 metres from each other.
According to the akimat, online payments have been introduced, as well as smartphone applications for Android and iOS, where users are able to see bicycles’ stations location and the number available.
Those who wish to ride on a bike should visit velobike.kz and register. The subscription fee is 5,000 tenge (US$15), deposit for the plastic card is 1,000 tenge (US$3) and it is returnable. The minimum balance required on the card is 500 tenge (US$1.5).
After registration users need to visit the sales department located on the second floor of the Mega Shopping centre to pay a fee and deposit and pick up a user card. Residents need to present identity cards, and non-residents will have to show passports and documents showing occupation in Kazakhstan. According to the sales department manager, business cards will be accepted as proof of employment.
With a user card, users can use any bicycle station. The first half hour is free; from 31 minutes to one hour the fee is 100 tenge (US$0.3); from one hour to 2 hours it is 250 tenge (US$0.75), and from two to three hours is 500 tenge (US$1.5). After three hours, every hour is charged at 1,000 tenge (US$3). All the detailed information and fines can be seen on the website.
Astana Bike is a project that was implemented by the Samruk Kazyna Sovereign Wealth Fund with the support of the Astana city administration. The project is part of the city’s effort to provide affordable and environmentally friendly transportation.