Govt donation of bikes to charitable organisations
50 of the original Gibibike scheme bicycles have been onated for use in Morocco via the International Lions Club and the Association Mediterranee de Developpement et de Formation. The bicycles have been refurbished and made roadworthy. Minister Paul Balban handed over the 50 refurbished bikes to the two charities.
Pepe Palmero, on behalf of the Lions Club said, they were sending the bicycles to people in need who live four miles from their school or work.
“They will help children to get to school and their fathers to work. I would like to thank the Government and the people of Gibraltar for helping us, which is why we are here,” he said thanking the Minister on behalf of the President and Members of the Lions Club for having had the initiative to donate the bicycles and “helping us to help others”.
Abel Suisi of the Association Mediterranee de Developpement de Formation also gave his heartfelt thanks for the donation of these bicycles to his association.
He said: “These bicycles will be put to good use helping people get to their places of work and education”.
Meanwhile the Minister for Infrastructure and Planning, Paul Balban said: “I am satisfied that we can finally put what remains of the failed bicycle rental scheme to some worthy use. These bicycles will give greater mobility to some less fortunate people so that they can access their schools and places of work. I would like to thank these two charities for their work and I am delighted to be able to assist them.”
The Gibibike scheme was first introduced in 2001 by the GSD but the Government statement claimed it had been “fraught with problems” The scheme was launched on 27 November that year and within six months, said the statement, only 47 bikes were operational and many stations were out of action.
“The GibiBike scheme started with 130 bicycles and 13 docking stations. Only six months later, just 47 bicycles remained fully functional and only eight docking stations were available for use: many bikes were permanently locked in their stations, not because they were broken but because they could not be released due to software malfunctions,” added the statement.
Now finally a number of these bicycles are being put to good use.