The number of trips made on Seoul’s public bicycles has topped 100,000, indicating that the service is being widely used by members of the public. Consequently, the City Government has decided to further improve the quality of the public bicycle service, which it introduced by benchmarking the VELIB system of Paris, France, and BIXI of Montreal, Canada.
The public bicycles introduced by the City Government constitute a very convenient bicycle rental system, enabling Seoul’s citizens to freely rent bicycles for commuting to office and work as well as for leisure and tourism purposes, and to move easily around the City. The City Government introduced 440 bicycles at 43 stations in November 1, 2010, following the initial launch of the service at Sangam DMC and Yeouido.
According to the City Government, the total number of trips made on the public bicycles since their introduction reached 110,559 as of June 12. The bicycles were used 359 times per day on average until February, during the initial days of the pilot project. However, the number of rentals increased to a daily average of 612 from May, jumping more than 1.7 times from the early days after their introduction, suggesting a soaring trend.
The five core policies devised by the Seoul Metropolitan Government to upgrade the public bicycle service include the preparation of measures to address citizens’ reporting of complaints and inconveniences by case; the real-time handling of inconveniences on-site via the installation of surveillance cameras and speakers; the operation of a general operation center to assure seamless use of the unmanned rental system; the provision of a congestion tax by signing MOUs with nearby companies; and public relations and improvement of the related manuals to help nurture a sound bicycle use culture.
The Seoul Metropolitan Government offers a telephone service (+82-2-1599-0120) to enable citizens to file reports and complaints the moment a problem occurs to ensure that bicycles are fixed immediately, and receives reports of inconveniences via the opinion gathering corner of the Customer Center menu on the public bicycle website (www.bikeseoul.com).