Users can easily determine availability by the color of raindrop-shaped icons. Image: xinhuanet.com
Beijing launched its first real-time public bicycle application which is integrated into the Beijing Transport app.
The application provides real-time location data of public bicycles, including nearby rental stations and the number of available bikes and open docks. Users can easily determine availability by the color of raindrop-shaped icons.
As one of many measures to deal with the projected traffic, Beijing has added 8,000 public bikes to its system, which began in 2012. Beijing now has 68,000 public bicycles－about three times the number in Paris, the largest system outside China. They are distributed in more than 2,000 stations to more than 700,000 registered users.
"We are promoting the public bicycle system to raise awareness that riding bikes is a way to live a healthy, green and low-carbon life," said Jiao Tongmin, a director at the Beijing Municipal Commission of Transport in charge of public bicycles.
Other functions integrated in the application include real-time bus information that provides actual bus locations and estimated time of arrival at a certain station, road congestion information and license-plate lottery results. The size of crowds in subways and locations of charging stations for electric cars are in the works for future updates.