ASTANA – Warmer weather has finally returned, and bikes are once again available for rent at stations around the capital. Here’s how to access them.
At the moment there are two ways to rent bikes: by card and by SMS.
To rent a bike using a card, first visit velobike.kz and register. The subscription fee for the season is 10,000 tenge (US$32). Students, pensioners and people with limited abilities pay a much reduced fee of 5,000 tenge (US$16).
The plastic card you will need to access the bike costs 1,000 tenge (US$3), and you’re required to keep a minimum balance of 500 tenge (US$1.50).
After registration, you’ll have to visit one of Velobike’s sales departments, located on the second floor of the Keruen City Shopping centre or the third floor of the 7th Continent Business Centre, to pay the fee and pick up your card. Residents will need to present identity cards and non-residents will have to show their passports.
Once you have a user card, you can use any bicycle station. The first half hour of your rental is free; from 31 minutes to one hour the fee is 100 tenge (US$0.30), from one hour to two hours it is 250 tenge (US$0.75), and from two to three hours it’s 500 tenge (US$1.50). After three hours, every hour is charged at 1,000 tenge (US$3). The wheels of the bike are blocked after 24 hours.
More detail and information about fines is available on velobike.kz.
To use the system via SMS, clients should register on the website, then enter their banking card number and pay the chosen rate. The subscription fee is 500 tenge (US$1.50) for one day, 800 tenge (US$2.50) for two days, 1,000 tenge (US$3) for three days and 1,500 tenge (US$5) for seven days. The deposit is 37,500 tenge (US$120), but deposits will be returned after the balance or rental period is finished. Rental prices are the same as for the card.
After your payment is received, a message is sent to your mobile phone that will allow you to rent a bike.
With the first half hour free, users who take bikes from one station to another in fewer than thirty minutes can ride without paying anything.
Smartphone applications that show bicycle station locations and the number of bikes there are available.
Last year, the number of bicycle stations was increased to 150 with more than 1,800 bicycles in use. Most stations are located within 300-500 metres from each other.
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.