A couple of weeks ago, I rode the Capital Bikeshare system in Washington, D.C., and I was some impressed. With 1,100 bikes, it’s currently the biggest in the nation, and it makes getting around Washington much easier than it has ever been before.
But the bikeshare in Hangzhou, China, a city of 6.77 million, blows anything in Europe, Canada, or the U.S. out of the water. Streetfilms went there recently to document the situation.
Hangzhou has 50,000 bikes at 2,050 stations around the city. People make an average of 240,000 trips a day on the bikes, which are completely integrated into the rest of the public transit system. By 2020, the plan is to have 175,000 bikes available for use.
The bikeshare boom in China has happened in spite of the rapid onset of car culture in the last 10-15 years. According to Bradley Schroeder of the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy, “Now leaders are realizing that it’s absolutely impossible to build enough roads for everyone to have a car.” It’s only natural to return to the bike culture that was so prevalent in the country for so long as a solution. Watch.