SEOUL, March 21 (Korea Bizwire) – As Seoul’s bike hire scheme has proven popular since its advent back in 2015, the Seoul city government is expanding its bike rental service with plans to operate a total of 20,000 bikes throughout the city by the end of this year.
Seoul Bike, which was introduced in October 2015, currently has 5,600 bikes in operation with nearly 450 docking stations in 11 Seoul districts.
Having been used nearly 172 million times, with 210,000 registered users, the Seoul government’s expansion plan to meet the soaring demand couldn’t have come at a better time.
Seoul residents will see the capital equipped with 6,000 new Seoul Bikes by the end of June and 460 new docking stations in Songpa, Gangdong and Gangseo Districts, with plans to install an additional 8,400 bikes by November, according to the Seoul government’s new plan to ramp up its bike rental service announced yesterday.
“Seoul Bike’s capacity of 20,000 bikes surpasses Nextbike with its 3,000 bikes in Frankfurt and New York’s Citibike that runs 6,000 bikes. It’s (Seoul Bike) on par with the bike share system in Paris that boasts 23,600 bikes in operation,” the Seoul government said.
“For every 10,000 residents, the number of bikes will jump from 15 to 20.”
The new docking stations for Seoul Bike will be built in the vicinity of subway and bus stations and taxi stands so users can get to their desired destination solely using public transport.
Magok and Munjung Districts will be revamped as cycle friendly areas with the government planning to introduce a significant number of docking stations and bicycles and make more than 40 percent of the roads in the area cyclist-friendly.
From next month, a revamped version of the Seoul Bike app will make it much easier for foreign visitors and unregistered users to rent a bike, through a simplified process that does not require identity confirmation.
The update will also include an English version of the mobile app and expansion of the minimum hour per session for seasonal ticket holders to two hours.
By 2020, the Seoul government expects to construct 84.4km of bike paths with plans to make two 2.8km long bike lanes.
Hyunsu Yim (firstname.lastname@example.org)