Saturday, October 27, 2007

Beijing Bike-sharing II

In an article from The Christian Science Monitor titled "Return to the bike? Hard sell in Beijing" by Peter Ford reports on The Beijing Bicycle Rental Company's efforts to get Beijingers (Beijingians?) back to their biking roots.

The article states: " 'We Chinese have a special feeling for bicycles, and cars have brought catastrophic damage to our society and our environment,' [the owner of Beijing Bicycle Rental Company] Wang says. 'Every civilized citizen has to be aware … that we have to bring bikes back into our daily lives.'

'His business is simple: customers pick up a bike at one of the company's rental stations – a straightforward model adapted to Beijing's sometimes bumpy streets – leave a 400 yuan ($53) credit-card deposit, and whiz away. When they are finished, they drop the bike off at another station and get their deposit back.'

'The service costs 5 yuan ($0.66) an hour, 20 yuan ($2.66) a day, or 100 yuan ($13.33) for a year-long VIP card. 'The longer you rent, the cheaper it gets,' Wang says, 'because we want to encourage people to use a green mode of transportation for longer. I see this as a public-service business.' " This is a different model from other bike-sharing services, but I like it!

Presently with 31 stations and 500 bikes, Mr. Wang hopes to have 200 stations and 50,000 bikes by the end of 2008.

photo credit: Sun Jun/ChinaFotoPress/ZUMA Press

No comments: