Public Bike-sharing Program in Hangzhou City

Location: Zhejiang Province, China

Population: 10.36 million (2019)

Climate: mild, and generally warm and temperate

Duration: since 2008

Sector: Transport

Funding sources: Public

City networks: N/A

Savings: 152,500 tonnes of CO2 emission reduction in 2015

Solutions: Municipal government funds a low-rent public-bicycle program.

Multiple benefits: energy saving and GHG emission reduction, reduced local air pollution and traffic congestion, reduced public investment in road construction.

Objective – To encourage the use of public transport and improve the share of public transport in urban transportation.

Solutions – The Hangzhou Public-bicycle Program was launched in May 2008. It uses public-bike renting to facilitate public transport access and improve public transport usage. The program started with 61 service stations and 2800 public bicycles in 2008 to 4198 service stands and 101730 public bicycles in 2018. The service stands are 200-300 metres apart, making it convenient to access and return the bikes. In the operations, the municipality constantly lowers the rent for using the bikes and around 97% of the usage is free. Due to the low rent and effective management, the bikes were used for 925 million trips in 2018.

Funding – The Hangzhou government invested 180 million yuan ($26.35 million) to launch the program, and 270 million yuan ($39.53 million) in discounted loans [source].

Innovation –The public bike program, with its strong engagement of the public and public transport companies, and low-rent, is able to maintain high service quality and low rent, which leads to continuous increases in usage and strong public support.

Success factors – Strong public participation, management by public transport companies, and low-rent and public service. Constant technology innovation and 24/7 services.

Significant outcomes

  • The bicycles were rented 925 million times from 2018 to 2018 and the total riding distance was estimated as 1.85 billion km based on an average trip distance of 2 km.
  • The total avoided CO2 emissions were estimated as 424,429 tonnes in from 2008 to 2018(assumptions: vehicle fuel efficiency of cars: 10 liter per 100 km, and gasoline density of 0.725 kg/liter) [source1][source2].
  • The public bikes also helped reduce local urban traffic congestion and the related air pollutants from motorized transport.

Synergies with local policies:

  • Public bike scheme has synergies with the local policies of building Hangzhou into a green and sustainable city of tourist destination;
  • Public bike scheme helps save government funding for transport: the costs of building on 1 km of main road is 100 million RMB, those of building one km of highway is 400 million RMB, and one km of metro: over 600 million RMB.

Political alignment:

  • Public health benefits from active citizens.
  • Alignment with the national policies of low-carbon development and climate change mitigation policies.

Marketability: N/A

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Sector: Transport

Country / Region: China

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In 1 user collection: Good practices of cities

Knowledge Object: User generated Initiative

Published by: Energy Smart Communities Initiative (ESCI)