Some days there are some things that I witness here that makes me think, "shit, China you really have got your shit together". With that being said let me introduce you to MoBike.
MoBike build 1 bike for every 6 people in the country as their basic business model as a bike sharing company. Sign up with your initial deposit of 299 (about C$60) from which you draw down when you use the bike. If you so desire you can withdraw it at any time, through Wechat of course. 720 million dollars in reserve from this model after one year makes you realize these kids nailed it! This is a country of 1.3 billion people with a history of bike use and no real desire to own a car (from the people I have spoken to). Their logic, to expensive to buy, use gas and insurance. Then it breaks down and you have accidents. In the west we say the same thing but buy one anyways. Interesting observation.
Part 1 : Here is how it works. Using a mobile app, of course, you register and put a deposit into your account. You then search the map from your location to find the nearest bike. You can reserve it for 15 minutes and it is taken off the map. There is either a "red packet" which means "free to use for 2 hours" or a paid bike which costs 2 Yuan and hour (.40 cents). When you locate the bike you walk up to it and using the QR Code scanner on the bike you log it, it unlocks and off you go. When you are done you just leave the bike where ever you are. Scan it, lock it and you are done. Walk away and the next user will find it. It is that simple. It is now my "go to" for point A to B adventures. I notice that people take great care in leaving the bikes in locations with other bikes or in a safe spot. I make sure I do the same now as well.
Part 2: Getting around. This city as are most in China are designed or have been redesigned with the bike in mind. Bike paths are on every street, are wide and usually barrier-ed from the main road. You do have to fight with scooters and pedestrians at times but it is harmless. The serious challenges are crosswalks or smaller lane bike ways that are beside the road without barriers. Cars absolutely have the right of way at ALL times. No discussion. If you lose you ego and any form of road rage and accept it for what it is you will be fine. If you decide that you can "beat the car or bus" or "screw them I am on a bike", well "may you rest comfortably in the hospital ward or the grave".
I will add MoBike to the growing list of things I marvel at here in the Middle Kingdom.
Here is a link to the Website