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The Green Life: WATCH: Mass Bike-Sharing in Hangzhou

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June 03, 2011

WATCH: Mass Bike-Sharing in Hangzhou

A new video by StreetFilms takes us to Hangzhou, China, to see the "biggest, baddest bike-share in the world." More than 240,000 people ride every day, from suited-up businessmen to college kids, hopping on their bright-red public bicycles and zipping through wide bike lanes. 

While there are bike-sharing programs all over the world, Hangzhou's scale and efficiency is unparalleled. More than 2,000 bicycle stations are less than 1,000 feet from each other and seamlessly integrated with busses and trains, solving the “last-mile” problem of public transit. With no fee for the first hour, and 50,000 bikes in the city, everyone has access.

As one woman says, “Biking certainly is cheaper than taking the taxi and faster than walking. It’s convenient, and the rental is essentially free.” It's no wonder that the program has the highest satisfaction rate of any city development project, and that Hangzhou Bicycle Co. plans to increase the number of bikes to 175,000 by 2020.

Watch the video and see why Hangzhou should serve as a wake-up call to we public-transit-challenged Americans. It is possible, even in a car-clogged city, to make biking the norm.

--Christa Morris

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