Wed, Oct 23, 2019 - Page 4 News List

Updated YouBike system to be tested in Gongguan

Staff writer, with CNA

A new version of the YouBike bicycle rental service is to be tested with the public in Taipei’s Gongguan (公館) shopping area in January, as the city prepares to replace all YouBike bicycles, a city official said on Monday.

Gongguan, the most popular YouBike stop nationwide, is to have 1,250 bike stands installed to accommodate 500 new bicycles, Taipei Department of Transportation official Liao Yun-ling (廖苑伶) said.

The city would study user behavior during the test run to adjust its “YouBike 2.0” system, which is to be launched citywide late next year, Liao said.

The new service would feature smart control panels on the bikes, meaning that riders can rent them directly using an EasyCard or by scanning the QR code placed on the bicycles, Liao said.

Moving the operating system from the bike stands to the bicycles means that stands will take up less space, which is needed to build a comprehensive network, she said.

While there are 13,000 YouBikes served by about 400 stations in Taipei, the density of bike stops could still be improved, Liao said.

More eco-friendly, the new service interface would use built-in solar energy panels on the bicycles, she said.

The new bicycles, to be painted white and yellow, would also have GPS and use an automatic locking system instead of traditional locks, and would for the first time be placed on National Taiwan University grounds, she added.

The new system would not be compatible with the existing one, which might cause confusion and inconvenience for users, Liao said.

The city is to install the new stands beside the existing ones so that users have two options.

For stops without sufficient space to park enough new bikes, the city would install several new stations on a smaller scale near current stations.

“The point is to make the bikes more accessible from everywhere in the city,” she said.

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