News Posted: 24 Sept 2008
Shanghai, once home to the world's biggest bicycle industry, began testing a Paris-style rental programme Monday to encourage people to get back on bikes, officials said.
The programme was launched to coincide with World Car Free Day on Monday and is part of the city's preparations to host the 2010 World Expo, whose theme is "Better City, Better Life", Shanghai Metro said.
The limited trial began at a metro station near a high-tech research centre in the Pudong area to encourage people to bike between the station and their offices, Shanghai Metro said.
If successful, the programme will be expanded to 800 stands outside metro station exits and on 2,700 other sites in business and residential areas by 2012, the Shanghai Morning Post reported.
To use the system, riders must pay a 200 yuan (29 dollars) deposit and are charged one to three yuan an hour on a progressive system designed to encourage short rents and quick turnover. The first half hour is free.
The bicycles are being supplied by the Shanghai Forever Bicycle Company, one of Shanghai's oldest bicycle brands.
Shanghai-made Forever, Phoenix and Flying Pigeon brand bicycles used to dominate the city's roads, but as China has become more affluent cars have taken over.
The city recently banned bicycles from travelling on select major roads to prevent them from slowing down motorists.
The Shanghai programme uses technology similar to Paris' successful "Velib" scheme, which was launched last year and has since been emulated by other cities.
Cycling commuters in Shanghai have been on a steady decline due to the boom in car ownership and the elimination of bike lanes on select major roads over the past 5 years.? However, that trend may change with a new initiative launched last month to promote bike use.
The city started testing a bike-sharing system to coincide with World Car Free Day and as part of the preparations for the the 2010 World Expo.? The limited trial began outside one metro station near a high-tech research area with the goal of encouraging people to bike between the metro station and their office.? The plan is to expand the program to 800 metro station exits and 2,700 other sites by 2012.
Riders pay a 200 RMB ($28) deposit on the bike, with the first half hour free.? For each additional hour, riders pay 3 RMB ($0.40).? Bikes are supplied by the Shanghai Forever Bicycle Company, one of the most famous and recognizable old bicycle brands in China.
Shanghai promotes "Subway + bicycle" model
The Shanghai Metro Operation Co., Ltd. (SMOC) offered a bike rental service recently, in a bid to promote "Subway + bicycle" green travel pattern.
This service is first on trial at the Zhangjiang Hi-Tech Park station of Shanghai subway line 2. As long as citizens present their identity cards and pay 150 yuan to the bicycle rental outlets of the subway station, they will get a membership annual card.
The short-term lease is encouraged. The longer time one uses it, the more bicycle rental fee he will pay. Renting a bicycle for one hour costs one yuan, then the fee will increase in the following hours, but it will not go beyond 3 yuan. It is free if the rental duration is less than half an hour.