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Taipei set to start charging YouBike riders for first 30 minutes

2015/03/31 18:11:38

Taipei, March 31 (CNA) People using Taipei City's bicycle rental service will be charged a small fee for the first half an hour, starting Wednesday, but the fees for periods of more than 30 minutes will remain the same, the city said Tuesday.

To facilitate the fee change, the YouBike service will be suspended from midnight Tuesday to 5 a.m. Wednesday, allowing only the return of bikes, the city said.

When the rental service is restored early Wednesday, the automated system will start docking NT$5 for the first 30 minutes of use, the city said.

Users who had rented bikes before Tuesday and plan to return them after Wednesday will be charged NT$5 for the first half an hour but can obtain a refund if they apply at YouBike service centers before May 1, according to a statement from the city government.

The YouBike system, which was fully implemented in 2012, has been allowing free rides for the first 30 minutes, after which users are charged of NT$10 per half-hour for the next three and a half hours, NT$20 per half-hour for the next four hours, and NT$40 per half-hour after that.

New Taipei City, which has its own bike rental system, will continue to offer the first 30 minutes of use free of cost.

The Taipei City government reported that as of October 2014, total ridership since the implementation of the YouBike system had surpassed 30 million.

(By Huang Lee-yun and Evelyn Kao)