Taipei City inaugurated a public bicycle rental system at five sites in Xinyi District (信義) yesterday.
A total of 250 “YouBike” bicycles are now available for rent at MRT Taipei City Hall Station, the east side of the Taipei City Hall, Exhibition Hall 3 of Taipei World Trade Center, the Xinyi District Office and the sidewalk across the street from the Grand Hyatt Taipei Hotel.
The rentals will be free of charge during the trial period, which runs until April 10. Thereafter, the rental fee will be NT$40 for the first 30 minutes and NT$10 for every 15 minutes after that, the Department of Transportation said.
Department of Transportation Commissioner Luo Shiaw-shyan (羅孝賢) said the rental fees could be paid with an EasyCard, but renters would have to pay a NT$3,000 deposit using a credit card.
The deposit will be confiscated if the bike is not returned within 24 hours, Luo said.
At a ceremony to inaugurate the rental service, Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) said the public bicycles will become a popular transportation tool and he promised to extend the city’s bike routes along with the expansion of the rental service.
Six more rental spots will be opened starting April 11: Exhibition Hall 1 of the Taipei World Trade Center, Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall, New York New York Mall, Xinyi Junior High School and on Songren Road in Sanchangli (三張犁).
Hau said the bike rental service would be expanded to major MRT stations in the city, including Gongguan, Yuanshan and Jiantan stations, and around top tourist attractions such as the Shilin Night Market in the near future.
The mayor said a 50km-long bike route would be established in downtown Taipei by the end of this year to promote “green transportation.”
Giant Manufacturing Co chairman King Liu (劉金標), whose company sponsored the public bicycle system, invited the public to enjoy a bike ride around the city.
Kaohsiung City inaugurated a similar bicycle rental network in January.
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