Bicycle Sharing Launched in Pasig City

Pasig City now hosts a Tutubi bicycle-sharing station which was launched in partnership with the Asian Development Bank and Clean Air Asia.

 

30 September 2013, Pasig City — Residents of Pasig will soon be pedaling dragonflies around the city. Tutubi (or dragonfly) is a metaphor for the way people will fly around the city on the proposed future city-wide bicycle sharing network. Bicycle sharing is a network of stations where a person can pick up a bicycle at one station, use it and drop it off at any other station in the network. It is a system that allows the public short-term access to bicycles as a transportation option for practically free.

The Tutubi bike-sharing system is the first of its kind in the Philippines. It is a demonstration project launched by the Asian Development Bank, funded by the Japanese Fund for Poverty Reduction (JFPR) and managed by Clean Air Asia. The demonstration project was introduced by Mayor Maribel Eusebio in Pasig City today during the flag-raising ceremony. “We are thankful to the ADB and the Japanese government for selecting our city as a pilot area because this project will complement our different non-motorized transport initiatives such as our Bike to Work Loan Program for city hall and barangay employees,” says Mayor Eusebio who is also an avid cyclist.

Mayor Maribel Eusebio of Pasig City and the Tutubi bicycle-sharing station in the Pasig City Hall.

 

The demonstration project in Pasig City will start with one station. The station has a terminal which resembles an ATM and 10 bicycles with docks that secures them when they are not in use. The station is located at the Pasig City Hall and the bikes are only accessed by a card system available initially to city hall employees.

Bike sharing systems have become an affordable, sustainable and fashionable means of mobility that has seen tremendous growth in cities throughout the world. The tipping point of bike-sharing systems happened in Paris (Vélib’) and Hangzhou, China (Hangzhou Public Bicycle), with 20,000 and 66,500 bikes respectively. Now there are over 500 systems in every region around the world.

The application of technology allows users to swipe a card to unlock a bicycle and to ride the bike from one station to another for free amount of time usually 30min to 1hr. The technology as well as a deposit mechanism ensures the system is secure against theft.

The Tutubi bikes may only be used via access cards that will be distributed initially to city employees only.

 

“Bicycle-sharing is recognized by cities as a means of travelling on short trips that are too long to walk, and a way to close the gaps between public transport and a commuter’s final destination – otherwise known as the last-mile issue,” says Chee-Anne Roño, Program Officer of Clean Air Asia.

The bike-sharing demonstration project in Pasig City, which is expected to last for three months, aims to make the Tutubi bikes a familiar and accessible means of mobility to the city’s employees. “There is no doubt that introducing a bike-sharing system in Metro Manila could be challenging,” added Roño. “The main obstacle to the success lies in the mindset of people, where certain stigma against cycling remain entrenched, ranging from perceived dangers in cycle commuting to belief that cycling is only for the poor. But we have seen steady growth of bike commuters around the metro in the past years and this is encouraging.”

Mayor Eusebio of Pasig City recognized the support of the Asian Development Bank and Clean Air Asia during the launching ceremony.

 

The Asian Development Bank promotes bicycle sharing through its Sustainable Transport Initiative. Both the Asian Development Bank and Clean Air Asia have worked in partnership with Pasig City to launch a number of sustainable transport initiatives including the car free sundays. The bicycle-sharing system demonstration project will be complemented by the Ortigas Greenways project in creating a more sustainable and walkable Pasig City.

Pasig City, the host city for this bike sharing program, has launched a Green City Program in 2007 and has since initiated various efforts to promote eco-mobility such as passing a city ordinance allowing bike plans (instead of car plans) as a benefit for city and barangay employees and closing off three public roads (F. Ortigas, Jr. Avenue in Ortigas Center, Caruncho Avenue near Pasig City Hall and MRR Road along the Pasig River) every Sunday to give space for children to play and cycle. “To succeed in promoting bicycles as an alternative mode of transportation, people’s participation must be secured through leadership by example and provision of incentives,” says Mayor Eusebio.

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Clean Air Asia (www.cleanairasia.org) promotes better air quality and livable cities by translating knowledge to policies and actions that reduce air pollution and greenhouse emissions from transport, energy, and other sectors. To request additional information, please send an email to media@cleanairasia.org.