The popularity of Taipei’s YouBike public bicycle rental service has been growing so rapidly that the Taipei City Government is incorporating a map with information on YouBike rental stops in its travel information smartphone app — “Fun Travel in Taipei” — in its latest effort to promote tourism in the city.
The app, developed by the city’s Department of Transportation, provides travel information ranging from the timetables of city buses and MRT guides to road maps and train timetables. The app is available in Chinese and English.
Department of Transportation Commissioner Wang Sheng-wei (王聲威) said the department worked with the city’s Department of Information and Tourism to provide basic information on top city attractions on the YouBike map, which allows users to search for attractions close to YouBike rental stops when planning their travel routes.
When they tap on the YouBike icon in the app to find bicycle rental stops in Xinyi District (信義), users are also shown attractions in the area on the map, such as Taipei 101 and the Songshan Cultural and Creative Park.
Wang said the department has installed 62 YouBike rental stops around the city, offering 2,132 public bicycles for rent.
The number of daily bicycle rentals has reached 25,000 on weekdays and 27,000 on weekends, he added.
“YouBike has become a popular transportation tool for both daily commutes and recreational activities, and the new service will help YouBike users to make commuting or travel plans using the public bicycles,” Wang said.
YouBike members can use the bikes for free for the first 30 minutes, while non-members pay NT$10 for every 30 minutes.
Wang said the YouBike system is planning to increase the number of locations to 162 by the end of this year, with rental stops not only at more MRT stations, but also at city attractions such as the Taipei Confucius Temple and in residential areas.
Department of Information and Tourism Commissioner Chao Hsin-ping (趙心屏) said the department would offer information about more city attractions on the app, while foreign visitors can find detailed travel information on the city’s travel Web site at www.taipeitravel.net/en/.