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Forever bike scheme lasts 20 months

(Global Times)

08:45, December 08, 2011

Docks are empty of free-to-borrow bikes at Dongsi, Dongcheng district, on Wednesday. Photo: Guo Yingguang/GT

Shanghai-based Forever Bicycles has withdrawn a 20-month free public bike service from Dongcheng district after it failed to win a government tender for a public bike rental system in October.

Local residents are sorry to see the service go, while authorities are planning on a new citywide bike rental service which might be launched next year.

Ten bike stands near subway stations and residential communities, offered 100 bikes in total for people who applied at residential committees for a card that gave free access to a bike for two hours at a time. More than 500 residents had registered since the program was launched in March 2010.

Service provider Forever Bicycles halted its only Beijing program in mid-November, said the company's manager Chen Shan. During the first two years, the company invested more than 3 million yuan ($470,000) in the pilot program, hoping for a long-term future cooperation with the district government, he said, but they failed in the bid organized by the local government.

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