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May 21, 2013

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Home » Metro » Public Services

Wheels fall off free bike rental program

MINHANG District will end its free bicycle rental service this month and begin charging users as many card holders didn't use the service and an increasing number of bikes had been damaged or stolen, officials said yesterday.

Residents will have to pay a 200 yuan (US$32.58) deposit and link their bank cards with the bike rental card, said Wan Huqing, director of the management department of the district's construction and traffic commission.

Wan said by asking users to give their bank account information, they will be able to charge additional fees if a bicycle is returned late.

The district government launched the free rental service in 2009 to offer environmentally friendly transportation between Metro stations and residential communities.

Some 230,000 residents have a bike rental card, but more than 10 percent never use it while another 13 percent seldom use the service, according to a district survey.

There are about 20,000 bicycles available.

Maintaining the service is costly because some users break the locks and take the bikes home. They then refuse to return the bikes, officials said. Others put their own locks on the bicycles to prevent others from using them.


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