Changhua County is planning to launch a public bicycle rental system similar to Taipei’s in July to help students commute and boost tourism, Changhua County Commissioner Cho Po-yuan (卓伯源) said.
Cho last month signed a cooperative agreement on building the rental bike network with King Liu (劉金標), chairman of the nation’s leading bicycle maker, Giant Manufacturing.
Cho said he first realized the enormous potential of bicycle leasing during a trip to Europe and decided to float the idea of establishing a public bicycle rental network in the county.
“How can Changhua County lag behind other localities in developing such a system, given the county’s population of more than 1 million people and the popularity of rental bikes?” the commissioner said.
The county government decided to establish its version of Taipei’s YouBike system, which will also advance the county’s goals of conserving energy and reducing carbon emissions, Cho said.
The county intends to set up 30 rental stations with 750 bicycles by July, focusing first on locations within Changhua City, such as the train station, the county government building, the Cultural Affairs Bureau, Chung Shan Elementary School, Changhua Yanping Park and the Changhua County Police Bureau, according to Cho.
The county’s YouBike system is to be expanded to other areas over time, with an average distance of between 400m and 1,000m planned between each rental station, he added.
In other bicycle-related plans, Cho said that the county government is planning to set up a bicycle industrial park zone in Dacun Township (大村鄉) to take advantage of Changhua being home to 664 bicycle components manufacturers, which is approximately 70 percent of the nation’s total.