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May 30, 2012

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Bicyclists abuse no-cost rentals

MINHANG District will collect deposit of 200 yuan (US$31) starting in June for its free bicycle renting service. Near 1,000 bicycles have been lost since the service started in late 2009, officials said.

The Minhang District Construction and Transport Commission said there is no punishment for bicycle snitchers so far, causing people to take advantage of the loophole in the rules.

Renters are supposed to return bicycles in an hour. All renters hold a card with credit points. Initially each renter has 100 points. If they return them within an hour, a point is added; if they use the bicycles for longer than an hour, a point is deducted. If they don't return the bicycles in a day, 100 points are deducted. Once all credit points are deducted, they won't be allowed to rent the bicycle without activating the card again.

"Some people feel that it's too troublesome to reactivate the card, they just keep the bicycles," said Wan Huqing, head of the commission's transport management department. "Some of the renters give the bicycle a lock, treating public bicycles as their own, private ones."

"Most of the lost bicycles are still in Minhang," said Wan. "As the bicycles are specially designated, it's impossible to use their parts on common bicycles. And as their color, which is bright orange, is rather eye-catching, it's not very possible that some people stole and sold them."


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