The idyllic, eco-friendly Indonesian city of Bandung is about to get more green. Today, the city government has announced it will launch a city scale bike-sharing service.

West Java-based startup Banopolis will partner up with PT LEN Industri to roll out this initiative. Christened Boseh, the bike-sharing system is expected to launch in early 2017, with 30 stations and 270 units of bicycles distributed along key areas of the city such as the busy intersection between Cihampelas and Pasteur.

The project was first birthed in 2012 as a barebones bike-sharing system – resembling a conventional low-tech bike renting system where users have to acquire and return the bike manually to its place of origin. One of the original founders, Anugrah Nurrewa, noticed inadequacies within this model and launched Banopolis.

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Through this startup, he sought to increase the efficiency of the bike-sharing service by leveraging on internet connectivity and other smart technologies such as IoT, GIS, and NFC, so that users can rent bicycles easily at any designated station, without requiring a physical staff to oversee the transaction.

Other Asian countries, especially China – where cycling is one of the primary modes of transportation – have been investing heavily in bike-sharing programmes for a while. Chinese ride-sharing giant Didi Chuxing and internet services conglomerate Tencent have both been injecting significant cash into bike-sharing startups; the former backing oFo, the latter throwing its weight behind Mobike.

Closer to home, Singapore recently welcomed Mobike to test trial its bike-sharing service here. Across the border, the Malaysian state of Penang is expected to launch a bike-sharing service, with an initial fleet of 250 bicycles, next year. And further up north, Bangkok has been operating its own bike-sharing system, Pun Pun, for a couple of years.


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