Cycle share scheme proving surprise hit in Qatar
Thursday 24 February 2011
You could be forgiven for thinking that cycle-sharing schemes may not be as popular in the hot, dusty Middle East as they have been in Europe's temperate capitals, but a new program launched this month seems set to prove the opposite.
Q Bike launched earlier this month in Doha as the first bike-sharing scheme in the Middle East, allowing users to borrow bikes to get around the Qatar capital.
The scheme, which is modelled on the Parisian Velib system, will be free for residents and tourists until April 5 as part of a trial program in which only a single station will operate from outside the Sheraton Hotel on the Corniche, where a dedicated cycle track has been set up.
Doha authorities and q.media Decaux, the company behind the scheme, intend to use the test to allow them to assess the potential for a city-wide development.
A spokesperson told Relaxnews that at the moment, the service is proving very successful, saying that the first "results are very positive and encouraging," although full results will be announced after the test period.
Q Bike is the latest attempt from Qatar to brand itself as a sports-friendly nation, a mission which has become all the more pressing since the country was named the host of the 2022 World Cup.
It is set to boast the first dedicated cycling routes on major roads in the Middle East, according to the Qatar Cycling Federation, with 15 kilometers of cycle routes planned for the new Dukhan Highway, a major route into Doha.
The country even hosts its own cycling competition, the Tour of Qatar, which finished its tenth year earlier in February having attracted competitors from all over the world.
The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations
- 1 Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
- 2 James Blunt was special guest on the highest-rating Top Gear episode ever
- 3 People all over the world are getting semicolon tattoos to draw attention to mental health
- 4 Van driver who comforted Clark Carlisle and called 999 after suicide attempt dies age 24
- 5 Baby rescued 1km out to sea after parents forgot about her
Are plastic planes the future of flight? Heathrow expansion reopens debate over aviation's effects on the environment
Inside Travel: Greece 2015 Q&A - should we cancel our Greek holiday? Are our flights safe? And what will we be spending there?
The most powerful passports in the world
The 10 Best lightweight luggage
Settle to Carlisle railway celebrates 150 years: A line carved out of stone
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Greece crisis: The wider lesson is that it’s time to abandon this failed experiment in currencies
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture
£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: To support their continued grow...
£33000 - £38000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A global player and world leade...
£18000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: If you are friendly, sociable, ...
£22300 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This museum group is looking for a Payro...