Bicycle rental business capitalise on car-free day initiative in BSB

National 2 minutes, 40 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

THE car-free Sunday initiative in the capital proved to be a boon for a local business renting out bicycles to weekend visitors at the Taman Haji Sir Muda Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien as they capitalised on the family-friendly atmosphere around the town centre to significantly boost their revenues.

Abdul Manan Hj Hamid said that his business, Mulyasarah Sahnisa Enterprise, was even more brisk yesterday than in the inaugural Bandarku Ceria event held on the previous Sunday.

“We have been camping out here since the night before because it is not easy to transport the 27 bicycles that we have but it is worth it as Alhamdulillah, we are seeing more business today despite the rainy weather around dawn,” he said.

“It is easy to do business here as all the vendors here are allowed to freely sell their goods without too much administrative restrictions and we did not even have to apply for any sort of tender or license. We are also lucky to have no competitors as we are the only ones renting out bicycles here,” he said.

Many of the visitors could be seen riding around town yesterday on board Abdul Manan’s brightly-coloured bicycles with their family or spouses, with only a handful of bicycles left parked at the booth inside Taman Haji Sir Muda Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien.

Abdul Manan did not want to disclose how much he had already earned by the end of the car-free event at 10am yesterday but said that it was “easily in the high hundreds of dollars”.

Abdul Manan said that the car-free Sunday initiative was a “blessing” for him as he had previously set up his bicycle rental business at the Agro-Technology Park in Rimba in the past few years but the park was recently closed off to the public which left him with no other viably profitable places to do business.

“Thankfully, we were called by people from the Municipal Department before the previous Sunday as they were aware of our rental service and asked us if we could set up shop for the Bandarku Ceria event which we were just happy to oblige,” he said.

“After the Agro-Technology Park closed, I had been quite frustrated as it cut off my revenue completely but Alhamdulillah, I am getting more customers here per day than I ever did in the previous place,” he said, adding that over 100 visitors had ridden on his bicycles yesterday. Meanwhile, other vendors also said that they enjoyed satisfactory sales on the back of an increased turnout at the capital’s vehicle-free Sunday event.

“This event is perfect for us as our business depends on having open-air festivities such as Bandarku Ceria and today we managed to do quite well as there was good foot traffic,” said Hj Wan Md Hilmi Sheh Hj Suhaili who runs a food truck with his wife.

“What makes it better was that we were allowed by the authorities to pick our spot as long as we were early enough for it,” he said.

However, he added that it would perhaps be easier for visitors to navigate if the vendors were segregated into sections based on the nature of what they were selling.

The Brunei Times