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Free bicycle program a hit

COMMUTERS in Minhang District are enjoying a program that lets them cycle for free between major local venues.

The first 350 bicycles in the program are now available at four outlets, including the Lianhua Road Station on Metro Line 1, today's Shanghai Morning Post reported.

People aged 16-65 can apply for a card which will let them use the bikes for free for up to four hours. Twenty minutes before the time is up, commuters get a message on their mobile phones.

About 200 people have applied for the cards, a Minhang traffic official said.

The district government started the free bicycle program late last month, according to the official. It plans to set up 200 outlets in the district with 10,000 bicycles in service by the end of this year.

After the network is completed, between 50,000 and 100,000 bicycles will be in service, he said. The outlets will include all public venues including Metro stations, residential quarters, hypermarkets and hospitals.

Last September, a similar free bicycle program was introduced in Pudong's Sanlin area. More than 50,000 cards were handed out and none of the 3,000 bicycles in service has been lost.


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