Environmental News Archive

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China's Bicycle Solution

Aug 22 2007 (TODAY)

Bid to reduce pollution prompts rental scheme

BEIJING - The Chinese authorities have launched a new bicycle rental
scheme in a bid to reduce pollution and ease traffic congestion in the
capital of Beijing.

According to China Daily, 50,000 bicycles will be available for rent
soon - at a cost of 100 yuan (20 cents) for a one-year contract or 20 yuan
per day.

Under the scheme, users have to pay a deposit of 400 yuan - which is
refundable, less annual rental fees, upon the return of the bicycle.

In recent months, the authorities in Beijing have conducted trials of the
service, whereby some 5,000 bicycles were available for rent at 31

"It has proved really popular, so it is worth rolling it out across the
city," Mr Du Shaozhong, deputy director of the Beijing municipal
environmental protection bureau, was quoted by the Beijing News as saying.

It is estimated that the expanded network will cover 200 outlets - that
are located near to subway stations, Olympic venues, as well as hotels and
office buildings - by the time the 2008 Olympics kick-off next August.

"Organisations and individuals are welcome to join our service network for
free, as long as they can provide an area about the size of one parking
space," Mr Wang Yong, general manager of Beijing Bicycle Rental Services,
was quoted as saying by Xinhua news agency.

Mr Wang said that his company would provide all the bicycles for rent, and
franchise outlets would receive 1 yuan a day for each bike they operate as
running costs.

The launch of the bicycle rental scheme came following the success of the
four-day car reduction test last week, in which more than 1 million cars
each day were barred from the roads.

While the most obvious benefit of the test was the reduction in traffic
congestion, the Beijing Environment Protection Monitoring Centre noted
that the air quality in the capital improved during the four-day period.

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