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Taipei City Government considers insurance for bike hire scheme riders following cyclist death

City has seen cycling boom with YouBike hire cycles rented 30 million times

The City Government of Taipei is to provide accident insurance to users of its bike hire scheme, following the death of a rider this week.

Cyclists in the city have jumped in numbers by about 25 per cent since 2011 and the YouBike hire scheme has proven popular.

The proposed insurance will cover third party claims made by those towards whom the cyclist might be liable, but will not cover injuries to the rider.

The city also plans to build more cycle racks around metro stations, saying that congestion around stations due to the numbers of bikes parked there was proving a risk to pedestrians on the pavements. 4,000 new bike racks will be added and illegally parked bikes would be removed, the Department of Transportation said.

Taipei Department of Transportation Commissioner Wang Sheng-wei confirmed to the Taipei Times that the wearing of helmets on hire bikes was still to be a personal choice.

Just last month the YouBike scheme saw its 30 millionth rider. There are currently 5,482 bikes available at 167 automated rental stations across the city and the number of stations will be expanded to over 190 by the end of this year, transport officials said.

The bikes are used between 60,000 and 80,000 times per day.

Registered YouBike users can enjoy the bikes for free for the first half hour of each ride.

The rental fees stay at a rate of NT$10 (£0.21) per half hour afterwards for the first four hours of rental. The half-hourly rate then rises to NT$20 before jumping to NT$30 per half hour after eight hours of continuous rental.

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