New bike sharing service hits Hong Kong

by Violetta Polese

Believe it or not, there are many spots in Hong Kong that are perfectly suited to cycling. And now some bright spark has seen fit to introduce a bike sharing scheme. What better way to enjoy those summer week-ends?

With limited space in the home, finding somewhere to keep a bike for every member of the family can be tricky if not impossible - and despite the safety of Hong Kong keeping a smart bike outside both day and night is always a little risky.

Plus taking the bike by public transport is not always easy; you must first remove one of the wheels, which then makes it impractical to carry.

This is why a new start-up company - Gobee - has finally brought to Hong Kong the concept of bike-sharing that is already well-known in many cities around the world.

Most of the bikes are located in Tseung Kwan O and Tai Po. These are the areas that are best-equipped with cycle lanes, but you can also find them in some other spots around the New Territories.

The location of these bikes can be found via the free app.

You don’t need to take out a yearly subscription, as is the case in many other countries. All you need to do is to scan the QR code of the bike you intend to rent. For the time-being, the only means of payment is by credit card.

There is also a refundable deposit of 399 HKD. Unfortunately this deposit isn’t returned to you when you return the bike, but when you cancel your account. The idea is that you don't have to go through the process of paying of the deposit every time you want to rent a bike. It is true that this saves a bit of time if you use the bikes on a regular basis, even it makes occasional customers a bit unhappy.

Families will be happy to know that they also have a number of child bikes available and this is something unique to Hong Kong.

There are no specially-designed spots for these bikes. They are simply left at government bike stalls. Users are also required to return them to these official government stalls.

So how much does the service cost? A half hour costs 5 HKD, although there are special discounts in certain areas (for example, in Tai Po a full day's rental costs 40 HKD).

New improvements are currently on the way, such as be able to pay ways other than with a credit card or to be able to rent more than one bike per account.



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