TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taoyuan is gradually rolling out YouBike 2.0E, an electric-assisted vehicle, with 1,500 bikes expected to be on the road by the end of the year.
The new bikes will have a maximum speed of 25 kilometers per hour, a concern for New Taipei City, which will prohibit their use on sidewalks. Taoyuan will allow the bikes on the sidewalk, leading city officials to worry riders may get confused and accidentally violate the law, per UDN.
Taoyuan City’s Department of Transportation responded that it will monitor the situation and adjust its approach to permitting electric bicycles on sidewalks if necessary. Taoyuan City plans to launch YouBike 2.0E in February this year, rolling out 600 bikes at 400 stations.
The New Taipei City Transportation Department announced last week that riding a YouBike 2.0E on sidewalks is prohibited in New Taipei City. Violators can be subject to a fine between NT$1,200 (US$38) and NT$3,600. Taoyuan, on the other hand, will not implement such restrictions as it has considerably less sidewalk area than Taipei and New Taipei.
Taoyuan Guishan District Councilor Chen Ya-lun (陳雅倫) said electric bikes traveling at a maximum speed of 25 kilometers per hour can cause serious damage to children or elders if there are no regulations. Furthermore, with adjacent municipalities having different regulations, more safety concerns could arise.
Taoyuan Transportation Bureau Director-General Chang Hsin-fu (張新福) said that according to YouBike, there were just 225 YouBike accidents in Taoyuan last year. Based on the number of rides—13.45 million rides in 2023—the accident rate was only 0.0017%, indicating the probability of a YouBike accident is quite small.