TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Beginning next January 1, Taipei City will level fees of NT$100 (US$3.31) for towing away illegally parked bicycles and of NT$25 (US$0.82) per 12 hours for keeping them.
Over the past few years, Taiwan has seen an explosion in the number of cycling enthusiasts and of widespread rental schemes such as YouBike and oBike.
Since bicycles in Taiwan do not have license plates, the towing service will leave a note written in chalk on the ground and ask the owner to collect the bicycle at one of three locations, the Longmen or Wanhua high schools or the Songshan District’s Zhiyuan parking area, the Chinese-language Liberty Times reported Friday.
Even though the number of parking spots for bicycles, especially near Mass Rapid Transit stations, had been expanded significantly, so had the number of illegally parked bikes, reports said. Near the campus of National Taiwan University alone, an estimated 1,173 bicycles had been towed away between January and October this year, according to the Liberty Times.
January’s crackdown would begin by concentrating on 13 areas known for the high amount of illegally parked bicycles, from NTU to Songshan rail station and Dongmen MRT station, officials said.
If cyclists went to collect their towed-away vehicle within one hour, they would only have to pay the towing fee, reports said. A website would help them find where the vehicle was, which they could pick up by bringing ID and the necessary fee.
If not collected after four months, the bicycle would be regarded as trash, the Liberty Times report concluded.