SEOUL, May 8 (Korea Bizwire) – As the Seoul Metropolitan Government continues to ramp up its efforts to invest in infrastructure, more and more people are using Seoul’s car and bicycle sharing services.
As the prospects of splashing out on buying a new car are proving daunting for consumers amid the sluggish economy, not to mention the concurrent expenses for maintenance, gasoline and insurance, citizens are turning to rental services, including one run by the Seoul government that boasts a user base of over 1.5 million.
Lee, a 50-year-old dad living in the South Korean capital, has used Seoul’s car sharing service 239 times in the last year.
Though Lee has four children, he has no plan to purchase a car in the near future.
“There are many things I have to take care of, if I buy a car, but Seoul’s car sharing service maintains all of the vehicles and allows me to save money as I can use a car only when I need and return it,” Lee said.
With the average number of daily users estimated at 6,000, the service is rapidly growing in popularity, with numbers up 60 percent compared to last year.
Neary 3,900 vehicles that can be rented by users are stationed near apartment complexes and other types of residential buildings dotted around the city .
Eight in ten people who have used the car rental service said they were satisfied, according to a customer satisfaction survey of 8,920 users conducted by the Seoul government in March.
Over 50 percent said they will consider opting out of or postponing the purchase of a car if Seoul’s car-sharing service expands its capacity.
As many of the vehicles deployed are electric, Seoul’s car sharing scheme is expected to save energy and reduce air pollution.
Seoul’s bike sharing system is also proving popular, boasting 210,000 users.
The Seoul government plans to raise the number of bicycles up to 20,000 this year with new docking stations set to be built near bus and subway stations, allowing for smoother transfers during journeys in the city.
For more information about Seoul’s car sharing service, visit www.seoulnanumcar.com.
Ashley Song (Ashlye@koreabizwire.com)