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Taichung set to launch a rental bicycle system

TAIPEI -- A public bicycle rental system in Taichung, Central Taiwan, will be inaugurated Friday, Lin Liang-tai, head of the city government's Transportation Bureau, said Wednesday.

Lin said the iBike system will work in conjunction with the city's Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system, noting that there will be 60 rental stations alongside the bus system within the next two years.

Taichung is planning to cooperate with the bike rental system YouBike in neighboring Changhua County so that people will be able to rent bikes in Taichung and return them in Changhua, or vice versa.

The decision to set up a platform for the bike rental public transportation system in Taichung and Changhua was reached at a regular meeting between the heads of the two local administrations.

Changhua Magistrate Cho Po-yuan said that since his county launched its automated bike rental system in May, it has proved to be a hit with residents and tourists.

Cho noted that the average turnover rate of a bike in the county is8.25, meaning that every public bike is used around eight times per day.

Meanwhile that same day, a public rental bike went on show in southern Taiwan's Pingtung County.

The Pingtung county government has commissioned the Kaohsiung Rapid Transit Corp. (KRTC) to design and build the system.

The county government said the system will be launched in October and in the initial stage, 450 public rental bikes will be provided at 20 locations, such as residential areas, schools, parks and government agencies.

The YouBike system was first launched in Taipei on a trial basis in 2009. Since then, neighboring New Taipei and Kaohsiung in the south have also launched their own systems.

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