Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Yokohama Community Cycle - BayBike

Yokohama has a brand new automated bicycle rental system called "BayBike".

 My first thought, after noticing some of the 300 new red and blue minivelos lined up neatly at one of the 15 rental stations around town, was "wow!" followed by - "there goes my business."  However, according to one of the staffpeople I spoke with, it isn`t really meant to be a rental system for tourists, but a convenient system for local people to use.  Bikes are picked up at one of the 15 rental stations and can be dropped off at another rental station.    Bikes apparently cannot be rented by the day, but for 30 minutes at a time with late charges accessed for late returns .  

I made one futile attempt at  registering for the service, and was left thinking there is absolutely no way a tourist from outside Japan is ever gonna figure out how it works.  Yokohama Rides and Rentals lives!

...but most definitely a wasted opportunity for the city of Yokohama - at a time when the city has been working hard to attract tourists from overseas, an easy to use and affordable bicycle rental system that sightseers could access would certainly be very popular, and could maybe even become a tourist attraction in it`s own right.  Anyway, after talking to a couple of the staff, I get the feeling they are still trying to work out the kinks - hopefully, they see the light and change their marketing plan a bit. 

for more info(Japanese):

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