Sunday, October 4, 2009

Hangzhou on the go and Wuhan can!

Electric bicycle mover in Hangzhou

Around the bike-sharing world, Hangzhou, China now has 40,000 public use bicycles on the streets in 1,600 stations. The municipal government, as reported in The Bike-sharing Blog plans to add another 10,000 bikes and 400 stations by the end of 2009. According to China’s Nan Fang Daily, in a rush to greet the China’s National Day Holiday of October 1st, the last weeks of September saw 7,000 more bikes and 200 more stations installed throughout this city of nearly 2.65M inhabitants. Hangzhou, the provincial capital of Zheijang, is around 200 km southwest of Shanghai. Hangzhou Public Bicycle Development Company, which launched the program in April 2008, is government owned and will sell advertising space on the bicycles and stations to support the system.

Wuhan, China celebrated the National Day holiday with 21,000 bike-sharing bicycles in 740 stations on its streets. In operation since the beginning of this year, Wuhan Public Bikes had issued over 150,000 subscriber cards by the end of July this summer, reports the Xinhua News Agency. Although the system’s web map does not give real time counts for the number of bikes in each stations, it does give pictures of the stations so you can find them on the street. Wuhan, around 800 km west of Shanghai, is a major transportation hub on the Yangtze River.

China is embracing bike-sharing even though it has surpassed the United States as the world’s largest automobile market. Leaders in Chinese urban centers are counting on bike-sharing to help reduce the newfound automobile congestion. Currently, Shanghai is developing a bike-share system to service the May 2010 World’s Fair Expo Shanghai-Better City Better Life.

images: Hangzhou Public Bikes, Wuhan Public Bikes

Russell Meddin

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