Wed, Dec 19, 2012 - Page 11 News List

80% of public bikes providing free ride for Kaohsiung residents
八成騎免費 公共腳踏車月虧兩百萬

Models and local residents ride public bikes in Greater Kaohsiung on Dec. 13.
模特兒與民眾十二月十三日於高雄市騎公共腳踏車。

Photo: Chang Chung-yi, Taipei Times
照片:自由時報記者張忠義

Since Kaohsiung Rapid Transit Corp (KTRC) took over Greater Kaohsiung’s public bike rental program in August last year, the number of people renting bikes has reached record levels; however, up to 80 percent of people renting the bikes are paying nothing by returning the bikes within the first hour. The Greater Kaohsiung Government is paying NT$2.2 million to fund the program every month by using the Air Pollution Prevention Fund, but only taking in between NT$200,000 and NT$300,000 in revenue — a loss of NT$2 million every month.

Greater Kaohsiung Councilor Wu I-cheng says that she supports the sustainable operation of the public bike program, but suggests that large industrial corporations like China Steel Corp should be asked to cover a certain percentage of the “carbon credits” based on the number of people renting bikes to make up for losses.

The Kaohsiung Public Bike Rental System went online in February of 2009. The number of people renting bikes was quite limited until the middle of last year, with only a few thousand people renting bikes every month. The company that initially won the bid to operate the scheme, Tung Li Development Co, eventually had to abort due to exorbitant losses. After Kaohsiung Rapid Transit Corp took over and initiated an incentive program offering people with Kaohsiung MRT I Pass cards or credit cards free access to bikes for the first hour, it exponentially increased the number of people using the bikes. From September to November in particular, there were more than 100,000 people using the bikes each month.

But more people renting bikes does not necessarily mean they are making a profit. According to statistics from Kao hsiung’s Environmental Protection Bureau in October, people holding an MRT I Pass renting public bikes only used the bikes for 26 minutes on average. Since you can rent a bike at one station and return it at another, many students and office workers are now in the habit of using public bikes for short commutes, and by returning the bikes within an hour, 80 percent of people are able to rent public bikes without having to spend a dime.

TODAY’S WORDS 今日單字

1. revenue n.

收入 (shou1 ru4)

例: Loss occurs when costs exceed revenue.

(成本超越收入會造成虧損。)

2. exponentially adv.

三級跳地 (san1 ji2 tiao4 de5)

例: The company has grown exponentially over the past two years.

(公司近兩年有三級跳地成長。)

3. to spend a dime idiom

花一毛錢 (hua1 yi1 mao2 qian2)

例: The president cannot spend a dime without approval from congress.

(總統若沒有國會批准,一毛錢都不能花。)


(Liberty Times, Translated by Kyle Jeffcoat)

高雄市公共腳踏車去年八月由高捷接手經營,雖然使用人次屢創新高,但據統計八成是利用前一小時免費來騎乘,市府每月由空氣污染防制基金支付給高捷兩百二十萬元營運維護費,收入卻只有二、三十萬,月虧約兩百萬元。

市議員吳益政支持公共腳踏車永續經營,他建議可依公共腳踏車的使用人次,向中鋼等重工業公司收取一定比例的「碳權」金額,以彌補虧損。

高雄市公共腳踏車租賃系統從二00九年二月開辦,到去年中以前的租借人次有限,平均每個月只有數千人,導致原先得標經營的「統立開發」不堪虧損而退出;直到高捷接手後,祭出持一卡通或信用卡租借前一小時免費的優惠,使得今年起每個月的租借人次三級跳,尤其九至十一月已連續三個月衝破十萬大關。

不過,租借的人多,未必會賺錢。根據環保局今年十月份的統計,使用一卡通租借公共腳踏車的民眾,平均使用時間只有二十六分鐘,由於公共腳踏車可以「甲站借,乙站還」,許多學生及上班族已習慣當作短程的交通接駁工具,其中更有八成租車者在一小時內還車,根本不需付一毛錢。

(自由時報記者葛祐豪)

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