In the Korean city of Chongwan 8,000 people have signed up to be members of the city's first bike share program since it opened last October. The system put 430 new bikes at 20 locations in the city center, and as many systems do, gives users a free first hour for short-hop trips (day rate is about $1.50). The system is called NUBIJA, which its web site says is an acronym for Nearby Useful Bikes, Interesting Joyful Attraction - which about sums up bike sharing, doesn't it? Korea is also planning a lot new enticements, including 3,000 kilometers of new paths, to get people to take up the 'old and familiar eco-friendly' habit of riding their bikes.
'Environmental capital', Changwon
Though not many of us may have heard about it, the city of Changwon in the south of Korea considers itself to be striving to be the country's 'environmental capital' partly by promoting the use of the bikes in this industrial stronghold. The city runs the bike share service, which took its name from two Korean words - 'nubida' which means move around, and 'jajeongeo' which means bicycle (the Nearby Useful Bikes, Interesting Joyful Attraction was added as an afterthought). The seven-gear bikes used in the NUBIJA system are not quite as snazzy as Parisian Vélib's bikes, but as the NUBIJA web site declares, these seven-speed "life style bike female and old and weak people can ride and get off easily." Let's hope that's not how they are advertised to the Korean public! The service's annual membership costs 20,000 Korean won ($15) and just $.75 per hour after the first free hour.
Bike-only trail to circle the entire country
Korea already has implemented what it refers to as the 'Green New Deal' with a number of government projects aimed at pumping up the economy and improving environmental and business conditions. A three-meter wide path strictly for cyclists will ring the nation starting from the capital city of Seoul, running down the west coast, and back up the eastern one, and attempting to connect with various bike path projects already underway. The government is also using some of the $950 million allotted to the project to improve and smooth out roads that might make for rough bike riding. The project is expected to create 2,000 new jobs this year, and is supposed to be completed in the next 9 years. Via: Korean Herald
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