Taichung City promoted the doubling plan for iBike since the end of last year to increase the current iBike 1.0 stations from 329 to 1,000 and at the same time to upgrade to YouBike 2.0 for riders to use mobile payment and to increase rental convenience. Now, 200 stations were additionally added. Today (the 20th), Mayor Lu Shiow-Yen especially went to Mingdao High school to care for the use of YouBike 2.0 and she emphasized that Taichung will continuously promote low-cabon transport including the MRT, public buses and iBikes for the public to increase their convenience when transiting to build a green transport and good life in Taichung.
According to Mayor Lu, Taichung started introducing iBike 1.0 seven years ago and there were 329 stations. Because of its popularity, the Taichung City Government last year allocated a NT$500 million budget to initiate "iBike Doubling Plan" and to upgrade the system to YouBike 2.0 with the expectation to increase YouBike 2.0 station by three times. Public bikes are a convenient means for students and Mayor Lu therefore came to Mingdao High School to get to know the level of use of public bikes there. She thanked the Principal of Mingdao High School, Albert Wang for filming a promotional film himself to encourage students and faculty to use YouBike 2.0 to transit from the public bus or the MRT to go to and from school. Riding a bike reduced carbon emission and provided more convenience.
Mayor Lu further explained that the Taichung City Government plans to increase YouBike stations to 1,000 and plus the original 329 iBike 1.0 stations, there will be 1,329 stations in total to allow Taichung City to be more effective in green transport and to improve the living quality of citizens in Taichung. She thanked the support of Mingdao High School, local communities and local representative to pass the budget plan and she also thanked the Transportation Bureau and YouBike Co., Ltd. for their efforts to increase more stations. She believed that "only with the participation of everyone, a better life of citizens in Taichung can become a reality."
Principal of Mingdao High School, Albert Wang, said Taichung City is devoted to the development of a low-carbon city and as a citizen of Taichung, he is very proud of this policy. Mingdao High School, this year, made great efforts to promote the sustainable campus and was the only school in Taiwan bestowed with the National Sustainability Award. Since two years ago, students of Mingdao High School initiated the "Mingdao Green MRT Life District" Project to encourage the riding of mass transport and reducing driving by parents. Good achievements were witnessed. Now Mingdao High School has 110 school buses and in the future, it expects to coordinate with the MRT and iBike to reduce the number of school buses by 20 to 110 and plans to build Wuzi District as the demo special district for the iBike, the MRT, gourmet foods and tourism to attract visitors from other cities to Wuzi for a one-day trip by the Taiwan High Speed Rail.
Executive Director of YouBike Co., Ltd., Liu Li-Chu, said through rapid station expansion and flexible utilization, YouBike2.0 improved the original design of iBike1.0 and with stations set up at popular sites, the public demands were satisfied. Additionally, iBike1.0 and YouBike2.0 can be both used by their members and no additional registration is required to encourage rides of the public to enjoy convenient and low-carbon life.
The Transportation Bureau pointed out that the Taichung City Government based on the principle of "more services for the same charge" upgraded the public bike system into YouBike2.0 and the design of a machine on the bike was incorporated to add diverse payment methods. The Public can use their e-tickets or cell phones to scan the barcode to rent a bike conveniently. Furthermore, the lightweight bike stand design increased convenience to install a station for denser station expansion. Due to the incompatibility of YouBike2.0and iBike1.0 equipment, the Bureau speeded up the system elimination of 1.0 to minimize impacts. At present, 18 MRT stations in Taichung City are now equipped with public bike stations and later service areas were expected to expand along with the MRT service areas for gradual upgrading.
The Bureau added that to protect rights of iBike users, the Taichung City Government continuously provided users and the third person with "injury insurance" and "the third person liabilities" for public bikes. Users can register information of personal identification card on the official website, app or kiosk for insurance coverage. When claiming compensation, the insurance company will check the rental record for the bike involved in the accident, medical record and personal information registered by the user. The public was reminded to ensure the same registration for the card used by the user and personal information on the platform in order to protect their insurance rights.