Author: ceciliazhang

Can bike-share boom lead to a less car-dependent future? [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2017-10-7 20:34:27 |Display all floors


Back to the original question: will bikes replace the car and other means of locomotion?

I think not.

Here is why:
We are discussing this possibility under the impression of the spread of rent-a-bike schemes that have suddenly mushroomed in China.

They are an old answer to a problem that is new to the Chinese: to commute between their homes and their places of work.

Not long ago they lived in their danweis, worked there, and even died there. They didn't have to venture outside for their daily routines.

The Chinese city dwellers are a new phenomenon to China. Interestingly, the grandparents of today's young employees used to pedal their bikes routinely. To own a Flying Pigeon was tantamount to being successful in life. The bike disappreared quite fast due to new modes of life and migration. Today people save money to buy a home to be independent of landlords and also to own assets for resale. People have become a lot more willing to take a risk and to earn big bucks. The homes therefore tend to be far away from where these people work, and the urban growth has been nothing short of cancerous growth leading to monster urban jungles that are hostile to biking. The first mode of transport a Chinese city slicker invests in is a car, not a bike any more. It's no piece of cake riding a bike in a monster place such as Shenzhen or Shanghai. Bikes are perhaps favoured by those who commute by underground and have a couple of kilometers to cover between their underground station and their place of work.

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