The Hangzhou Public Bicycle program was launched in 2008. It aims to provide a free public bicycle network for residents and tourists. It acts as a complement to Hangzhou’s public transit network. Currently, there are about 69,750 bicycles, with 2,965 fixed public bicycle stations in Hangzhou, which means a station can be found every 300 meters. It uses smart-card technology with automated check-in and checkout, which is quite convenient for users.
For renting a bicycle, you need to apply for a transportation smart card. Application service is available in the Smart Card Centers which you can find around West Lake. The application will need your ID card and you need to put an initial 300 Yuan deposit ($48) on the card.
How to use
After getting a smart card, you can rent and return a bicycle at any public bicycle station. To rent a bicycle, you simply put your card on the reader unit. After the light turns green and buzzer beeps, a bicycle is unlocked and it’s all yours.
To return a bicycle, all you need to do is to put the bicycle in an open slot and place your smart card on the machine. After you make sure that the bicycle is locked, the rental period will be over. You can check on the self-service machine to see your renting and returning record.
The service is free during the first hour, and costs 1 Yuan/hr ($0.16/hr) during the next two hours. More than three hours, any additional hours cost 3 Yuan/hr ($0.48/hr). However, during the day, you can check in and out as many times as you like, so it is possible for you to ride around the entire city for free.
Map of Public Bicycle Stations Around West Lake