Beijing advocates bikes over cars for Olympics

By Richard Peace | Tuesday, July 29, 2008 8.00am

China’s official news agency Xinhua has just recommended cycles over cars as way of traveling around the Beijing Olympics.

In a move to highlight the bicycle’s pros and the cars cons Xinhua have highlighted several comparison points. Cycle hire simply requires a deposit, whereas a driver’s license issued by the Beijing traffic management bureau, a visa and ID card are all required to rent a car. If you want to explore Beijing’s Hutongs (characteristic narrow lanes) bikes are far more practical than cars.   

Of course bike rental is far cheaper too – cars start at around £25 per day whereas a bike for a day could cost you as little as £1.50! Any car hire will also be of far less use as from July 20 to Sept. 20, Beijing will implement traffic control by odd and even license plate numbers. In other words, if you rent a car you could only enjoy half the rental period while paying the full rate.  

Over 100 new rental locations should be set up by the time the Games begin bringing the rental fleet to around 50,000 bikes. There will also be the option of electric bike rental (electric bikes are hugely popular in China), costing around £8 per day.  

The bicycle rental program is also sponsored by the Beijing Environment Protection Bureau as well as the anti-theft arm of the municipal Public Security Bureau in an attempt to clamp down on bike theft in the city which has been a persistent problem in the past. 

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