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October 30, 2009

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Home » Metro » Public Services

Minhang to increase free bikeservice

MINHANG District urban planners said yesterday that they will increase the supply of free-rental bicycles, an increasingly popular and green means of making short trips between residential areas and transport hubs.

The free bike rental service has been a hit with residents in Minhang District, where the mass transit network isn't as developed as downtown.

Officials decided to add to the free fleet because the 3,500 bikes now in use fall far short of public demand.

More than 10,000 commuters have applied for the service, said Zhong Ming, deputy manager of Shanghai Forever Bicycle Co Ltd.

In response, the company has pledged to add 6,500 bikes within five years, Zhong said.

"Every week we launch new bike-rental branches by the streets or around the neighborhoods," said Wang Ju, the company's marketing director.

Though the bicycles would seem easy to steal, theft so far has not been a big problem, company officials said.

"Commuters can apply for the bike-rental cards with their own ID cards in their neighborhood committees or directly via our company," said Zhong.

"With the card they can pick up and park bicycles at nearby branches."

Wu Zhongquan, a Minhang construction commission official, said the free-bike program is meant to solve the problem of the final trip home after alighting from public transport.

Traffic planners call this stage "the very last 3 kilometers" from homes or schools to traffic hubs.


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