The bicycles utilize GPS, smart locks and Bluetooth. The cost to rent one is VND5,000 (22 cents) for 30 minutes, and VND10,000 for an hour. More price ranges would become available in future, while bikes could initially be rented for free for the first 15 minutes as a way to attract customers. 

To use the service, people need to download the TNGO app, register for an account using their mobile phone number and add money to the account via MoMo, Zalo Pay, or VTC Pay. They then need to scan a QR code attached to the bicycle to unlock it for use.

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Ho Chi Minh City recently kicked of the public bicycle service, putting 43 downtownstations into operation. They are located near bus stations, parks and tourist attractions. Each station spans 10-15 square meters and is capable of hosting up to 20 bikes.

Many Saigonese headed downtown to test out the city's new public bicycle sharing service.The number of customers has surged, leading to some issues. However, the company has acknowledged customers’ comments and will improve the service.

Do Ba Dan, chairman of the Hanoi information-communications technology firm Tri Nam Company said, adding that the company is considering additional renting time frames and promotional deals.

Tri Nam will also work with HCMC authorities to expand the public bike share scheme to other districts and connect the bike system with the bus system, the Tan Son Nhat International Airport and metro line projects.

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The bicycles utilize GPS, smart locks and Bluetooth. On the app, users can easily find the nearest station to return their bikes after a trip.

Having launched a bicycle-sharing system in downtown HCMC, Tri Nam Group JSC, the project investor, plans to extend the public bike scheme to Hanoi, Ba Ria-Vung Tau and Danang.

HCMC has tried to put its residents back on two wheels in efforts to reduce gas emissions, one of the main factors causing air pollution.

HCMC currently has almost nine million registered private vehicles, including 825,000 automobiles and 8.12 million motorbikes, according to municipal transport department.

The city has since 2016 been considering various ways to limit private vehicles in the downtown area to ease congestion.

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Two girls ride public bicycles in HCMC's District 1

It plans to spend VND393 trillion ($16.93 billion) over the next decade on improving public transportation and limiting the use of private vehicles.

Bích Ngọc