Nairobi, 21 February 2017-- Supported by UN-Habitat, the Computing for Development Laboratory (C4DLab) of the University of Nairobi recently launched its new bike sharing program.

In his address at the event, the university’s Vice Chancellor Prof. Peter Mbithi commended the team for using a simple and innovative concept to solve a big problem of urban transport. He noted that such innovations will go a long way in helping staff and students move easily within the University.

Bike Share as a concept - illustrating a big opportunity for social equality, public health and urban mobility - has still not gained much ground on the African continent. However, this is changing. Under the programme, users borrow, ride and return the bicycle. Currently, the program works in a controlled campus environment and will be implemented and scaled up in phases.

On his part, Mr. Tom Mshindi, Nation Media Group Editor in Chief, noted that as the media partner, they are happy to be part of the project, that will not only help reduce the traffic congestion, but help riders improve their health. He noted that such projects are long overdue. He challenged the county government to create pathways for cyclists. He noted that many people fear riding in the city because of the risk.

Tonny Omwansa, the Chairman, Nairobi Innovation Week and part of the C4DLab, noted that the theme of this year’s Nairobi Innovation Week is ‘Innovating to solve local and global challenges’. He observed that Nairobi´s traffic challenge could easily be solved by Kenyans adapting the use of bicycles.

Stefanie Holzwarth, UN-Habitat - Urban Mobility Unit, is excited about the project´s success so far. In a city, where only 18 per cent of the residents have access to private means of motorization, safe infrastructure for non-motorised transport users is a prerequisite for peoples´ mobility and accessibility of urban opportunities. She further noted that "the students of today will be the citizens of tomorrow". Implementing a bike project on university ground will help to create a cycling culture for the generations to come.

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