Nov 10, 2012

Philippines - ADB brings bicycle sharing to ASEAN

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MANILA, 9 November 2012: Asian Development Bank and the Government of Japan, Thursday, formally launched a bicycle-sharing scheme which will be tested in three cities in ASEAN.

Based on the success of the test phase, the scheme could be adopted across the Asia Pacific region.
Davao in the Philippines and Vientiane in Lao People’s Democratic Republic have been selected as demonstration sites, while the third yet to be identified city will be in Indonesia. The cities were selected after consultations with local, national and international stakeholders.

“This initiative will show that urban transport conditions can be improved through the low-cost and zero-emission solution of bicycle-sharing systems,” said ADB’s regional and sustainable development department, senior transportation specialist, Lloyd Wright.

The US$2 million project is funded on a grant basis by the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction and administered by ADB.

The project will help improve air quality, as well as reduce the rate of pedestrian accidents and fatalities linked with too many private vehicles on the road. In 1980s, only 9% of the world’s 360 million motorised vehicles were found in the Asia and Pacific region.

By 2030, it is estimated that nearly half of the world’s projected 1.5 billion vehicles will be in the region.
Aside from contributing to cleaner air, bicycle-sharing is recognized as a means of traveling on short trips that are too long to walk, and a way to close the gaps between public transport and a rider’s final destination – otherwise known as the “last-mile” issue.

Globally, bicycle-sharing schemes became popular after Paris inaugurated its system in 2007. Since then, more than 300 systems have opened across the Americas, Asia and Europe.
The US$2 million project is funded on a grant basis by the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction and administered by ADB.

In addition, ADB and Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) will provide an US$87.39 million package of loans and grants to help Lao PDR and Viet Nam pair infrastructure upgrades with community-based disaster risk management and enhanced regional forecasting to improve flood and drought preparedness in the Greater Mekong Subregion.

It will involve upgrading or developing canals, drainage pumps, and embankments in Vientiane capital region, Lao PDR and Dong Thap and Tien Giang provinces in the Mekong Delta in Vietnam. The assistance will also be used nation-wide in both countries to collect data and information to prepare flood and drought forecasts.

Design criteria for flood and drought mitigation measures in the Mekong Delta will also be developed, and transboundary flood management options will be assessed. A National Early Warning Centre will also be established in Lao PDR.

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