Going Going Bike

Apr 072011

Get paid to cycle. Hell yeah. Sounds great. I’m unlikely to ever become a cyclist in the professional ranks, but I was intrigued by efforts of the local government of the South Korean city of Seoul to pay subsidies to their citizens to encourage bicycle use.

In a bid to try and get its citizens to use the 88km of new cycle-only lanes built in the city’s suburbs and surrounding region over the last two years, the Seoul Metropolitan Government has announced a raft of new measures to encourage take up.

One of these measures includes paying people up to £15 a trip if they cycle from their homes to their local subway station and back again on their daily commute.

Traffic cards

Citizens would be given special subway traffic cards (T-money transit cards) allowing them to park at subway station cycle parks. The card would have to be swiped at a parking kiosk before people take the subway. On their return, they can retrieve the bikes from the kiosk and the subsidy will then be credited to their cards automatically. The money on the card could be used later for taking public transportation or paying for other Metropolitan Government services.

The city runs six bicycle parking lots – at Sindorim, Suyu, Sinmok-dong, Yeongdeungpo and Gaebong subway stations – accommodating a total of 1,902 bicycles.

Free rental bikes

The Seoul Metropolitan Government hopes to have this initiative up and running by August at the Suyu and Sindorim subway stations but in the meantime it is making free bike rentals available at these two subway stations as part of the pilot project.

Citizens will be able to retrieve the free bikes from docking stations in residential areas and at the subway stations themselves.  The Metropolitan Government hopes to refurbish abandoned bikes and use them in the free trial.

Other initiatives to get people cycling more include greater enforcement and policing of cycle lanes so that cars do not block lanes by parking in them. The city is also pushing for lower speed limits on roads with cycle lanes.

See Also:

Man uses bike to fend off Leopard
Cycle to Work scheme motivates cycling take up

from Going Going Bike – Auctions, Bike News, Cycle Stuff

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