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Shanghai Metro Launching Bike Rental Service

Shanghai has begun testing a large-scale bicycle rental program similar to that of Paris’s Velib scheme. (Earlier post.) The program is part of the city’s preparations to host the 2010 World Expo.

The Forever brand bicycle and rental stand used in the program. Click to enlarge.

If the limited trial is successful, Shanghai Metro will expand the program to 800 stands outside metro station exits and on 2,700 other sites in business and residential areas by 2012.

Riders pay a 200 yuan (US$29) deposit and one to three yuan (US$0.15 to US$0.44) per hour on a progressive rate scale designed to encourage short rentals and quick turnover. The first half hour is free.

The Shanghai Forever Bicycle Company, provider of the rental bikes, is one of Shanghai’s oldest bicycle brands.



What a joke! in a country where most of city transportation where meet by bike and where in many cities they have baned bikes from main streets to favor cars, now that people throw awaay their bike they have to rent one...


Treehugger: ever been to Shanghai?

Most people in Shanghai can't afford to pay 1-3 yuan to rent a bike, no less post the deposit. Furthermore, even though Shanghai is fairly dense, it doesn't make sense to ride a bike from your home to work or shopping because they are still a number of miles apart and bicycles must obey the traffic lights and ride with other cyclists, making it hard to bike very quickly. Besides, the bicycles in China are all Mao-era clunkers. Nobody would steal yours because it's just as terrible as everyone elses... but since bikes aren't locked to anything [just the back wheel locked to prevent someone from riding away on it], as soon as you get a nicer bike it will get stolen.

Yes, I lived in Shanghai for 3 months last year. I don't think this bike program will be widely used in the sense that few of the 22,000,000 people who live in Shanghai will use it. But, the small but growing middle class will use it in conjunction with the subway, and this will help to keep bicycle usage politically important.

Laurent MERCAT

I would agree on previous comments. Bike sharing projects based on Vélib model (Paris - France) are expensive in investment and running cost. Alternative need to be adapted to local situation which may create employment and even faster bike release than pure automatic system. That's what we tried to find out suggesting different new orientation combining different services.

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