NUR-SULTAN – Astana Bike, the network of bicycle rental stations, has launched its seventh season this May in the Kazakh capital. The peak season usually lasts through mid-fall.
Astana Bike is a project that was implemented by the Samruk Kazyna Sovereign Wealth Fund with the support of the Nur-Sultan city administration. The project is part of the city’s effort to provide affordable and environmentally friendly transportation.
This year, the company introduced an online payment system, online user registration and online balance replenishment. Previously, users have to rent a bike by card or through an SMS system.
In addition, the company plans to add more than 100 bicycles as the number of users continues to grow every day.
“Now people will need to create a user account on the Velobike.kz website or at the CTS box office, to purchase subscriptions and rent a bike. The list of subscriptions, the tariff schedule and instructions for use are also available on the website,” Oksana Loskutova, press secretary of the City Transportation Systems, the company managing the system, explained in an interview with Kazinform.
More than 5,000 users have membership cards in the city. Around 3,000 people have already registered in June. The average age of people who use bicycle rental services is 16 to 40. The services are available for persons 16 years and or older.
There are 155 bicycle stations located throughout the city. About 800 bicycles are on rent daily. Overall, the entire bike park has 1,078 bicycles. Stations are mostly located near bus stops.
Loskutova added that around 100 users daily apply for registration because people prefer bicycles for transportation during lockdown. “The advantage of Astana Bike is its low-cost access to city transportation, as an alternative to owning a car. We receive positive feedback from residents for the convenient service provided, for our immediate reaction to the requests of users of bicycle rental,” she said.
Discounts for socially vulnerable groups are provided. A 50-percent discount is available for students, retired persons, people with special needs, war veterans, mothers with many children and families with many children since July.
The subscription fee for the season is 10,000 tenge (US$24). A quarterly subscription is 6,000 tenge (US$14) and a one-month subscription is 2,500 tenge (US$6). You’re required to keep a minimum balance of 500 tenge (US$1.2) on your account.
“Astana Bike continues to contribute to the popularization of cycling as an important element of the city’s transport infrastructure. We promote a healthy lifestyle and environmental improvement. And we also develop cycling tourism in the city,” said Loskutova.