2014-09-24 08:46:39

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YouBike boasts world's No. 1 usage rate

Taipei City’s YouBike boasts the top global usage rate, highlighting the effectiveness of its 24/7 management program and customer service center.

"YouBike averaged 10-12 trips per bike per day last year," said Vicky Yang, a spokeswoman for YouBike operator Giant Taiwan Co. Ltd. "This trumped similar public bike rental systems in Barcelona, New York, Paris and London at 10.8, 8.3, 6.7 and 3.1, respectively, based on a report by New York City-based Institute for Transportation and Development."

Yang said the round-the-clock management program is the first of its kind worldwide. “It involves 12 trucks working three shifts to distribute 5,350 units between the 165 stations,” she said, adding that allocations are made based on real time data and scheduled visits.

“For example, the team must work nonstop during morning peak hours to make sure the biggest station near Taipei City Hall metro station is constantly refilled, otherwise its 180 bicycles would be checked out in less than 30 minutes.”

According to Yang, Taichung City-based database designer Microprogram Co. Ltd. provides the data critical for keeping the system running smoothly. It also assists YouBike analyze user trends to determine potential locations of new stations.

The customer service center plays its part in the ongoing success of YouBike. “The center, another first-of-its-kind initiative, was launched last year,” Yang said. “The 16-member team handles a minimum 500 calls per day, ensuring the system functions at optimal levels.”

Yang said the management program and call center guarantee cyclists wait no more than 10 minutes for a bike. “We are extremely proud of the system and have been approached to take YouBike abroad by a number of major cities such as Toronto in Canada.”

YouBike’s success in Taipei has also caught the eye of metropolises around Taiwan. New Taipei and Taichung cities, as well as Changhua County, have followed suit and implemented the system in recent months.

“We are extremely confident residents in other parts of Taiwan will soon enjoy the convenience and health benefits of YouBike like their counterparts in Taipei,” Yang said. (DF-JSM)

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