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Yantian boosting rental bikes

Date time:2012-09-22

YANTIAN District in eastern Shenzhen plans to add 1,000 bikes to its public bike rental system, which has been operating for almost 10 months, district planners announced.

Another 32 self-service rental stations will be installed to meet increasing demand.

The city’s first government-funded bike rental system has 145 self-service rental stations, providing 5,000 bikes for rental. Residents between 16 and 70 years old can rent a bike with either a rental card or a Shenzhentong transit card. The first hour of use is free and each additional hour costs 2 yuan.

District planners haven’t clarified when the 1,000 bikes will be added.

Rentals of bikes in Yantian’s system surpassed 10 million Thursday morning, indicating an increasing trend among district residents of using a bike for daily commuting.

More than 64 percent of the 1,393 respondents to a district survey earlier this month said renting a bike was their first choice for daily commuting.

The survey was conducted by the Guangzhou branch of Beijing-based Horizon, a market survey and consulting company.

More than 71 percent of survey respondents said they rent a bike more than five times a week. Convenience was the advantage most often cited by respondents.

The survey indicated that bikes are rented by people of different educational backgrounds, ranging from primary school to postgraduate degrees.

Respondents also had several suggestions for improving the system, including strengthened protection and maintenance of bikes, timely repairs, construction of more cycling lanes or pathways and increased public awareness of the rental system.

While the bikes have been heavily used by district residents, intentional damage has occurred repeatedly, triggering complaints about lagging repairs.

To facilitate residents’ use of the bikes, the Yantian district government has outsourced the system’s management to a company that offers a 24-hour hotline, 4008301939, for questions and information.