When YouBike first started operation in 2009, it was only developed in Xinyi District, Taipei, and the distribution of stations was not ubiquitous. At the time, there were merely 500 bikes, but the expenses were very high. Not only was the salary paid to its employees, but the payment of NT$570,000 was made to EasyCard Corporation and nearly NT$ 1 million was spent on miscellaneous items every month. Actually, it was still in the test phase. Under the circumstances, YouBike had every intention of stopping the bike rental service, but King Liu, founder and CEO of Giant Manufacturing Co. Ltd. and the Taipei City Government started to investigate why few people rode bicycles and discussed how to reverse the miserable situation. Then, they discovered that students used bicycles as a means of transportation. The idea was that people register their EasyCard and cellphone number. Each account can list up to 5 EasyCards. Then they could rent a bike with their EasyCard.
They signed a seven-year contract that 168 stations would be installed in Taipei, starting from 2012. In so doing, the bike sharing system has become popular — a dramatic increase in the number of bike-share use. Residents were in the queue for YouBikes. The system offered a great deal: the first 30 minutes was free. After that, fees are NT$10 for each 30-minute ride. As soon as this policy took effect, there were more bike-share users than before, from thousands to millions. Because of the rapid growth, YouBike finally got out of the red after 4~5 years of operation.
There is a reason why YouBike is so successful. In the past, one big, famous company was called Obike. This company had a different policy from YouBike: you could leave your bike everywhere after use, unlike YouBike that requires people to drop off bikes at one station. Also, this caused the most serious management problem — nobody maintained those Obikes. In contrast, YouBike monitors the condition of bikes and has repair personnel for routine maintenance. Furthermore, because of the convenience of renting a bike with an EasyCard, more and more people choose YouBike instead of the subscription system. The New Taipei City Government implemented the Obike clearance project in July, 2019. Now we know the key to success for Youbike includes integrating EasyCard electronic ticket system and regular maintenance
- Mode of operation: At first, YouBike had a 24-hour customer service line, and dispatchers were responsible for vehicle scheduling and maintenance throughout the day to maintain good service. In order to avoid the status of “no car to borrow” or “no column to return” for a long time at sites with a high rate of borrowing or returning cars, YouBike repairers are equipped with tablet computers to check the vehicle status at the site at any time. In the long-term use of public bicycles, parts might be worn out or some other problems might occur. When that happens, the bikes need to be temporarily disabled and wait for the repairers(for example, in August 2021, YouBike 1.0 in Taipei City fixed 4,372 bicycles). Also, YouBike invented the “reverse seat cushion” marking method, so that citizens and dispatchers can clearly know the fault of the vehicle.
- Car rental process: When renting a car, directly sense it in the induction area on the parking column. After confirming that the green indicator light starts to flash and emits a short beep, pull the car backwards with both hands to use it. When returning the car, select an empty column with a bright blue light, press the tire to the white line on the ground, align the card slot, and push the front of the car forward to the end. After locking, the blue light will flash and make a short beep. Place the EasyCard in the induction area to pay. When the light returns to the first green light, the return procedure is completed.
3.YouBike 2.0 And 1.0:
Compared with YouBike 1.0, YouBike 2.0 has a slightly different body appearance, but mainly adopts the design concept of on-board machine and light pile,the major features are Multiple Rentals, Temporary Parking,Locking the Car and Light Vehicle Columns.
4. Important Positions:
Name: Vicky Liu
Now Working As: CEO of Bicycle New Culture Foundation & YouBike Spokesperson
- “Sometimes when I’m at the crossroads, and I see everyone enjoying riding YouBike, I would think, what else can I do?”
- “I’ll be embarrassed to take out things that I don’t want to use myself and ask others to use them.”
- “To find your own way, you have to work harder by yourself.”
- Love Bicycles
- Enjoys Repairing
Actual work content:
Check the vehicle for damage, including grips, pedals, bells, and seat cushions. The tires are special, and the damage needs to be repaired in the factory. Each car will be routinely inspected and maintained in the factory every month.
Difficulties encountered: Some people do not use bicycles in the correct way
Name: Zhou Yuhong
Seniority: Three years
Original intention: have a passion for bicycles and want to repair bicycles Occupational advantages: Meet foreign tourists during maintenance, make many friends
Name: Lin Hongyi
Seniority: Two and a half years
Original intention: like to repair items, interesting of the company system of smiling bicycles
Occupational advantages: opportunities for promotion, helpful teaching process for newcomers, helps the public