To promote the use of the bicycle as an alternative means of transport, a memorandum of understanding was recently signed between Cairo Governor Atef Abdel-Hamid and Rania Hedeya, UN Habitat Egypt Programme Manager. The MOU launches the ‘Bicicletta’ project at a cost of EGP30 million.
“Bicicletta” introduces a bike-sharing model that would help young people access work places, schools, or other destinations; and would moreover have a positive impact on public health and the environment. The main challenge to greater participation is owning a bicycle which can be taxing for most young people.
“Encouraging citizens to use bicycles as a safe and inexpensive means of transport is approved by leading figures in Egypt,” Governor Abdel-Hamid said. “President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi has himself participated in several bicycling events and has strongly promoted the use of bicycles.”
The memorandum declares that the two sides have agreed to work together to select a location in Cairo to implement the Bicicletta project, where special cycling routes will be defined to enable safe use of bicycle-sharing. The governor said that a study will be made to allocate these routes in areas where cars are not allowed, such as al-Muizz Street in Fatimid Cairo; al- Azbakiya and al-Alfi streets and Ahmed Orabi Square in Downtown Cairo; and youth gathering areas near Cairo and Ain Shams universities.
Governor Abdel-Hamid stressed that the cost of using Bicicletta should be affordable, and said large bicycle parking areas would be made available in such central areas as al-Tahrir Square.
UN-Habitat, in collaboration with the government, is building bike lanes in the catchment area of Cairo University, Ms Hedeya said.
The signing ceremony was attended by General Muhammad Ayman Abdel-Tawwab, governor deputy, General Muhammad al-Sheikh General-Secretary of youth and sports administrations, as well as representatives of public administration of Cairo traffic, and a number of the staff of UN-Habitat in Egypt.