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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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congokid | 9 years ago

A Youbike bike scheme user dies, presumably while riding one of the bikes, followed by a call for insurance.


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.

Is it just me or is this another example of the typical disconnect exhibited by transport authorities the world over (Netherlands possibly excepted) when it comes to bike riding as a mode of transport? After a tragedy their first impulse is to consider the introduction of a measure that it has nothing to do with and won't make any less likely to happen, simply to be seen to do something. The headless chicken approach, in other words.

Unless there's something the Taipei Times isn't saying about the 25 per cent increase of cycling as a transport mode there and other unexpected or unwelcome outcomes resulting from it. The fact that there are only two Youbike related stories on the site suggests not, unless all the others are reported in Mandarin.

massspike | 9 years ago

It's probably safer to ride a bike in Taipei then most other cities. Two wheeled traffic seems to rule the roads there. The scooter is their national vehicle and there are so many of them on the road I'd think it would be relatively easy to slot a bike into the flow.

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