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English>>China Society

Smart solutions for better city, better life

By Chen Xin  (China Daily)

13:50, November 21, 2012

No 1: Car sharing

Beijing and Guangzhou have introduced a lottery system to grant car plate licenses to prevent rapid increase in car population.

But the move has been criticized by some experts as "not that wise" to ease traffic congestion. Instead, they suggest offering more efficient public transportation and borrowing innovative means from other countries.

At the Guangzhou International Award for Urban Innovation recently, Michael Glotz-Richter, a senior project manager of Sustainable Mobility for the City of Bremen, Germany, presented the city's car-sharing project.

Under the creative system introduced since 2002, car-sharing members are issued a PIN and they can book a vehicle at any time of the day by phone, smartphone app or through the Internet. It costs 2 euros ($2.6) per hour and 20 euros a day.

"It costs me around 70 percent less each month by joining the project compared to having my own car because it makes me take public transport or ride a bicycle more often if the place I will go is not that far away," says Glotz-Richter. "And I do not have to pay for car maintenance."

Fuel and insurance costs are included in the rates.

Users can collect a car and return it at any of the 48 stations throughout the city where there are exclusively reserved parking spots. The city plans to build another 40 stations by the end of 2013, according to Glotz-Richter.

Glotz-Richter says the project is so effective that among the current 8,000 users, 70 percent who owned a car in their household in the past have given up using their private cars.

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