TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — An updated version of Taiwan’s popular public bicycle-sharing service YouBike started operations in New Taipei City on Wednesday (Oct. 20), five months after the service was made available in Taipei.
According to UDN, after the YouBike 2.0 service was installed in Taipei in May 2021, riders were unable to return bikes in New Taipei City as there were only YouBike 1.0 docks at stations. Since the upgraded bicycles and docks run on solar power, they are not compatible with their predecessors’ docks, which are connected to local power.
Now, YouBike 2.0 is available in eight New Taipei districts neighboring Taipei, including Banqiao, Zhonghe, Yonghe, Xindian, Xizhi, Tamsui, Sanchong, and Luzhou, with 300 stations in operation. New Taipei City Mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜) said YouBike 1.0 will gradually be eliminated and replaced by the new system, and he plans to extend the installation of docks into lanes and alleys.
By the end of the year, there can be as many as 700 stations installed, and the goal is to establish 1,500 stations by 2025, UDN cited Hou as saying. However, as New Taipei City’s other neighbor, Taoyuan City, is still using the YouBike 1.0 system, New Taipei City has not ceased the service’s operation completely.
Aside from the solar-powered smart panel on the upgraded bicycles, the two versions of YouBike can be distinguished from the color and docks. While the body of YouBike 1.0 is an orange now familiar to users in Taiwan’s cities and has docks that station two vehicles, YouBike 2.0 bikes sport a white body, and uses docks that only accommodate one vehicle per dock.
YouBike 2.0’s rental rate and membership remain the same as YouBike 1.0. However, a lot of information between the two systems, similar or not, have been presented separately on YouBike’s official website and even in different mobile apps, such as lists and maps of stations, as well as bicycle availability.
Similar information on the two YouBike systems is separated into two mobile apps. (Taiwan News image)