The story appears on

Page A4

December 9, 2011

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » Metro

Bicycle rentals so far a big bust on Chongming

CHONGMING Island's bicycle-renting business for sightseeing around the island is losing huge amounts of money every year because of tiny profits and lack of tourists, the renting company boss says.

As part of the island government's plan to boost its eco-tourism industry, a private company began operating the rental program in October 2009, but it has lost more than 800,000 yuan (US$125,760) and has yet to cover the cost of the bicycles, said Shi Yong, manager of the "One-Meter Bicycle Renting Company."

A total of 1,000 bicycles are available at seven rental stations across the island, but they receive only an average of two customers per week, with almost none in winter and on rainy days, Shi said.

He said the company can earn 15 yuan rent per hour, but it cost 6 yuan to transport the bike back to renting stations and more for maintenance. Moreover, very few people are aware of the rentals because the company has no extra money for publicity.

More than 30 percent of the customers are foreigners and most ride for sport, said Shi. Others come with their families for sightseeing.

The company has lowered the deposit for a mountain bike to 500 yuan from 1,000 yuan and provided an 80 percent discount on tickets for tourism venues across the island, but the business has not improved.

Other bicycle-renting ventures in the city also face difficult times, mainly because of high maintenance costs and the city's poor air quality, the Shanghai Bicycle Association said yesterday.

Xuhui, Jing'an and Changning districts have bike-rental programs mainly for tours to historic buildings in the districts.

"Bicycles are too common to Chinese people, so they can ride their own bicycles to tour the areas rather than pay to rent one, while the air quality is not good enough for those who ride as sports," said Guo Jianrong, secretary general of the association.

Guo said maintenance costs are another problem for the renting business. For example, the agency that initiated bike rentals in Minhang District has to spend 25 million yuan every year to maintain the bicycles, a sum that exceeds what it would cost to simply give a bike to each resident in the district, said Guo.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend