GYEONGSANG PROVINCE, SOUTH KOREA, 25 (Korea Bizwire) – Local governments and councils in North Gyeongsang Province are becoming increasingly bicycle-friendly to encourage more people to make use of the environmentally-friendly mode of transport, as part of their efforts to reduce fine dust emissions.
Part of the initiative comes in the form of free bike rental service, and insurance plans catering to those injured while cycling.
Yeongju City has been holding a festival to promote the use of bicycles among its citizens since 2014, and launched an unmanned bicycle rental service in five different locations this year.
A total of 96 bicycles are available from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. to both residents and tourists, who must go through an identity verification process through the self-service vending machine.
The city has also built 44.4 kilometers of cycling track dubbed “Yeongju Bike Trail” that stretches across Seocheon and Sobaek Mountain.
If well received, local officials say the trail could be expanded in the future.
Andong City has also been going bike-friendly, as the city government has been running a free bicycle rental service near the Nakdong River from April to November every year for the past few years.
Anyone with proof of identification can rent a bicycle at local bike stations and ride up to two hours for free.
The city also plans to introduce a new service called “U-Bicycle Service”, which will allow residents to rent bicycles through smart devices to commute to work or school.
In response to growing popularity, insurance plans for cyclists are also on the rise.
Yeongju City has been insuring its residents for years to protect them from accidents while bike riding anywhere in the country.
“Promoting bicycles might not do much to prevent fine dust as most of it is said to come from China. However, as cycling is healthy and is an eco-friendly type of transport, local governments and councils in North Gyeongsang will continue to create a more bike-friendly environment,” an official in charge of urban planning in Andong said.
Ashley Song (firstname.lastname@example.org)