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Taiwan’s Digital Bike Service Benefits Everyone

It seems a simple bike-sharing service but Taiwan’s bike-sharing services are all powered by digitalisation. That’s what makes it run smoothly and organised benefiting even undergraduate students of Kaohsiung.

According to the Transportation Bureau of Kaohsiung City Government YouBike 2.0 is the best choice for commuters and commuter students. Since the launch of its First 30 Minutes Free program on August 25, 2021, the service has received positive feedback, especially from students. Taiwan’s bike-sharing program allows students of senior high schools (senior vocational schools) and lower-level educational institutions to use the YouBike 2.0 rental service for free for the first 30 minutes.

Moreover, the Kaohsiung City Government has further announced that students of universities and colleges can also benefit from the program starting early this year with the aim of having students get used to green transportation.

Bicycles are a low-tech way to travel and have a negligible carbon footprint. As the service is digital-based, users can only unlock the bikes if they are registered online. To do that, one needs to create a YouBike account online or be registered in any of the country’s YouBike stations which one can find on the latest digital map. Once registered, one can then proceed to a bike station and unlock a bike by swiping a digital card on the assigned sensor. Returning the bike also is done with the same digital swipe.

What’s more, the first 30 minutes of using the bike are given free of charge. According to the Transportation Bureau, from February 21 to the end of December this year, students of universities and colleges and lower level educational institutions in Kaohsiung can use the YouBike 2.0 rental service for free for the first 30 minutes with their iPASS Digital Student ID Card, iPASS Kaohsiung Student ID Card or Children Card. The city government also offers discounts for public bike users who transfer to MRT, LRT, bus and ferry, and vice versa.

The Transportation Bureau also says the stations of the Kaohsiung YouBike 2.0 public bike rental system are established with location flexibility, which are closer to the public with a denser network, and a light-pile system that requires no electricity is used. Through active efforts of the Bureau and the YouBike team, 1,060 rental stations have been established as of now.

The number of card registration for Kaohsiung YouBike 2.0 has exceeded 880 thousand, with more than 15 million cumulative users. Among the users, the number of students has reached a new high, from 3,000 users daily last year to more than 7,000.

The service has become the best transportation choice for commuters and commuter students. So much so that even people with cars are ditching their private rides. According to the latest satisfaction survey by YouBike, up to 97.3% of users in Kaohsiung are satisfied with the service. Among them, up to 50.1% of users have replaced their cars and scooters with the YouBike 2.0 service.

Taiwan’s digital transformation is going ahead full speed with the island nation’s economy being greatly boosted by digital. The country’s IBus app allows people to know if a bus is spacious enough for comfort before boarding as reported on OpenGov Asia. Recently, Taiwan’s ITRI, its chief technology research institute, introduced two life-changing ICT-enabled technologies.

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