RABAT – Supported by the government and loved by the locals, the bike-sharing company, Medina Bike, in the western Morocco city of Marrakech, has established this form of sustainable transportation in the kingdom.
Founded in November last year, Medina Bike already boasts 5,000 users and a partnership with the Moroccan government. It has 300 bicycles stationed at 10 locations throughout Marrakech available for use at any time of the day, and ambassadors of the company are always contactable should there be any problem.
Founder Lebna El Hakym says that while the target was originally tourists, more locals than tourists now use the service. However for a day’s pass at 50 Dirham (about 5.14 US dollars) or an annual pass at 500 Dirhams, the service is not cheap. Despite costing more than the bike-sharing systems in France, usage remains steady and the price helps counter theft and vandalism.
This scheme is possible thanks to the company’s partnership with the Ministry for the Environment. the Moroccan government is eager to make the country more eco-friendly, and intends for renewable energy to make up 50 per cent of its energy consumption, including in the area of transport.
Whilst there are other sources of green transport available in Morocco such as electric cars, they pose different problems. Electric cars can suffer under Morocco’s hot summer temperatures, are impractical for narrow streets, and public opinion needs to be changed. Consequently bikes are the way forward. – BERNAMA-NNN-MOROCCO WORLD NEWS