Marrakech. The first African city and fourth largest city in Morocco launched a bike-sharing scheme called “Medina Bike”. Year after year, there are fewer bikes but more CO₂-emitting cars and scooters on the roads of the North African city. On 7 November 2016, the host city of the 22nd session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 22) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change starts to work against this trend.
Bike-sharing in Marrakech with 10 automatic bike rental stations with a total of 300 bicycles
The Government of Morocco aims to create a turning point and initiated a change towards sustainable transportation. In order to promote clean transportation and encourage city inhabitants to use non-emitting vehicles, 10 automatic bike rental stations with a total of 300 bicycles were set up in key areas around the city. Implemented by the Environment Ministry of the Kingdom of Morroco, Medina Bike will be available 24 hours a day throughout the year.
“Today Marrakech becomes the first city in Africa to launch a bike-sharing scheme and we hope to replicate this activity in other Moroccan cities. It was rendered possible thanks to the leadership of the city’s management and the fruitful cooperation between the city, UNIDO and the GEF,” said Hakima El-Haite, the delegate Minister of Environment of Morocco at the launch ceremony.
The official provider of the bike-sharing scheme in Marrakech is Smoove, a French bike company and member of the cycling industry club. The whole bike-sharing system has been procured and deployed in less than four months after the competitive selection process. Recently this year, Smoove also installed, for instance, a fleet of 1,500 bikes in Helsinki.
According to UNIDO (United Nations Industrial Development Organization), there are a number of initiatives launched in Marrakech to promote sustainability and green development. As early as in July 2016, they city of Marrakech unveiled a new fleet of Spanish electric buses.