Sat, Mar 08, 2008 - Page 2 News List

Taipei bicycle rental system to start by year end

By Mo Yan-chih  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Taipei City Government will provide 500 bicycles for rent near MRT stations by the end of this year to encourage residents to take better advantage of public transportation, Taipei City's Transportation Department said yesterday.

In a test run of the city's "public bicycle rental system," a total of 500 bicycles will be arranged at 10 rental stops near the Taipei City Hall and Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall MRT stations, said Chen Rong-ming (陳榮明), a division chief at the department.

Chen said that people will be able rent a bicycle at one rental stop and return it at another one and they may choose to pay the rental fee by cash, credit card or MRT EasyCard.

Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) said more rental stops would be established near MRT stations or bus stops to serve commuters and the charge would not be too expensive.

"We need to set up a lot of rental stops, provide a convenient rental service and low rental fee to raise the public's willingness to take public transportation," Hau said during the meeting.

Hau said many countries, including France, Spain and Germany, have successfully attracted more residents to take public transportation by providing public bicycles as transit tools, and hopefully the city's new system will also help to reduce the number of motorcycles and cars.

The department said more rental stops would be set up near the Gongguan, Jiantan, Yuanshan and Tamsui MRT stations.

The department budgeted NT$12 million (US$300,000) to establish the system.

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