Special Report


These days, the number of people riding bicycles is increasing. As it increases, some cities utilize public bike services. This has both merits and demerits.









Pro


These days, as the price of oil rises, the number of people riding bikes has increased. Following this trend, some cities have started a public bike service. As utilizing public bikes is easy and simple, the number of people using public bikes has increased, too. The public bike service has many advantages.

First, a public bike service makes a green city. Currently, the number of cars in Korea is increasing and the people per car is about 2.7. Gas emissions from cars are the main culprit in air pollution. Also, as the number of cars increases, carbon emissions are increased, and air pollution becomes worse. However, if people use public bikes, the number of people who drive cars will decrease. That will reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Hence, it can make the environment clean.

Second, a public bike service can lessen car accidents and traffic jams. We can easily see roads full of cars at rush hour in the morning and evening. In this situation, drivers blow their horn. Also, accidents occur when someone cuts in front of a car and overtakes a car. However, by taking advantage of public bikes, cars on the road will decrease and car accidents and traffic congestion also can decrease.

Last, personal health will be enhanced. Although people exercise, obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure patients are rising. However, by riding a bike, the chances of obesity and high blood pressure lessen, and it is good exercise for people who suffer from osteoporosis and arthritis because bikes give less pressure to joints.

Public bike services offer high-tech unmanned rental systems and smart phone applications. Tashu in Daejeon is an example. Daejeon built unmanned rental systems and made smart phone applications for people to utilize bikes conveniently. In addition, Daejeon also constructed a 960 kilometer bike lane around the main roads and the river. Additionally, Nubija in Changwon and U-bike in Asan are examples of public bike services utilizing rental systems.

There are many advantages of public bikes. For instance, public bikes can make green cities and reduce traffic problems. Also, people can enhance their health. Through setting up a public bike service, people can experience many advantages. Therefore, utilizing public bikes is good for our environment and our health.

By Lee Na-eun
KMG Junior Reporter
naeun0529@kmu.ac.kr


Con


These days, some areas are introducing the project “Use Public Bicycles” to improve people’s health, decrease carbon dioxide emissions, and achieve “Green Growth.” Seoul, Busan, Daegu, and Jejudo have already introduced the project. The project is based on good purposes. However, recently, many problems have occurred. There are problems of limited service hours, uncomfortable rental procedures, and negligent management.

The first problem is limited service hours. A person who rents a bicycle can use it for one hour at a time. The maximum rental hours are 4 hours at a time. However, if we use public bicycles for longer than that, we have to pay an extra charge of 1000 won for every extra half hour. For example, if we use public bicycles for an extra 1 and a half hours, we have to pay an extra 3000 won. Therefore, we have to return the bicycle and then rent it again to avoid paying an extra charge.

The second problem is uncomfortable rental procedures. There are two ways to rent a bicycle, a membership system and a non-membership system. Members have to follow 8 steps to rent a bicycle: joining the Website, service application and payment, rental application, identification, issuance of a rental number, choice of rental, and inputting the number on a bicycle’s smart terminal. Non-members also have to follow 7 steps except joining the Website. Introducing systematic steps is good for secure management. However, in respect of inconvenience, we need an easier way to rent a public bicycle.

The third problem is negligent management. Public bicycles are public facilities. It is easy for people to use the bicycles wildly because the bicycles are not personal belongings. Also, it is difficult for a local government which has introduced the project to check the bicycles regularly because public bicycles are run 24 hours for 365 days. Therefore, the local government has to prepare a solution like a public bicycle holiday and manage it steadily for the comfortable use of all people.

Many problems are made by limited service hours, uncomfortable rental procedures, and negligent management. Local governments have to consider alternative measures. If these problems are not solved, I disagree with the project “Use Public Bicycles.”

By Shin Eun-kyung
KMG Junior Reporter
rubinean6@kmu.ac.kr