How To Use YouBike: Taipei’s Public Rental Bikes
YouBike (also known as Ubike) is a large network of bicycle rental kiosks in Taipei offered by the Taipei City Department of Transportation in collaboration with the local manufacturer, Giant Bicycles.
With an increasing amount of bicycle parking stations located around the city, YouBike is an excellent and efficient way to get around the city. It offers a cheap and convenient service that is easy to register for and simple to use by anyone, even as a foreigner.
Here’s how you can start renting a YouBike to explore the city or one of Taipei’s many bicycle paths within minutes.
Important – There are 2 things that are required to register for a YouBike:
- An EasyCard, as shown above,
- A local phone number that is able to receive SMS messages.
You can find both an EasyCard and a SIM card at most convenience stores, such as a 7-Eleven or a Family Mart store. They’re easy to get – just make sure you have both of them with you when you are registering for the YouBike service.
How to Register:
- Find a YouBike (Ubike) terminal like the one shown above. These bicycles are yellow/orange and must be parked in docking stations, unlike the other major bike share service oBike.
- On the kiosk screen, select English in the bottom-left corner.
- Select: JOIN YOUBIKE.
- Read and accept the privileges and notices on screen (more details on this will be shown below).
- Enter in your local phone number. (Ensure that you’re able to receive text messages, as you will be receiving a confirmation code via SMS.
- You should be instantly sent a confirmation code. Check your phone for the numerical authorization confirmation code, and input it on the kiosk screen.
- Choose a password for your account and enter it in twice for confirmation.
- Confirm the bike rental procedures (more details on this will be shown below).
- Select the registration mode. The simplest way is to press your EasyCard on against the sensor zone located below the screen for a few seconds.
- That’s it, congratulations! Your registration is complete and you should be able to rent a bike immediately.
How to Use:
- Locate a docked YouBike that looks suitable (check the seat height, and inspect the condition of the bicycle such as the tires).
- Approach the docking station like the one shown above.
- Hold your registered EasyCard over the corresponding sensor zone until it beeps and the light flashes.
- Pull the unlocked bicycle straight back from the dock.
- Ride it to your next destination and find a docking station.
- Slide the bicycle into an empty dock. The light should change and you’ll hear a beeping sound.
- Hold your registered EasyCard over the corresponding sensor zone until the beeping stops and the bicycle is secured.
The Rental Charges:
- NT$5 for the first 30 minutes
- NT$10 per 30 minutes under 4 hours
- NT$30 per 30 minutes between 4 and 8 hours
- NT$40 per 30 minutes exceeding 8 hours
What You Need to Know – The Terms of Service:
- After returning a YouBike, you cannot rent another bicycle from the same station within 15 minutes.
- A lost YouBike must be reported to the police immediately. If the bike isn’t found within 3 months, the renter is liable for an operating loss of NT$9000.
How to Find YouBike Stations:
The best way is to download a YouBike app on your phone. We recommend that you use the app called ‘Ubike’ by SDM Lab. it can be found by searching for ‘Ubike’ in the Apple Itunes Store or Google Play.
Unlike many of the YouBike apps, this one is in English, and it is quick and simple to use. The app works relative to your location as it displays all the nearby YouBike stations as map markers. The markers even show up with their individual status, indicating how many YouBikes are available at each station in real-time. You can simply tap any of these markers to see an exact amount of available bicycles that are currently docked at each station. Markers without any available YouBikes will show up with an ‘X’, along with the average waiting time for another bike to be available at that particular station.
Please note: You could also search “YouBike” on Google Maps. Some of the stations will pop up but the list may not be comprehensive.
So, why not consider biking next time!?
We strongly recommend using the YouBike service. Not only is it a healthy option, it’s simple to register, convenient and cheaper way to get around the city!
Last updated: February 2018 – Taipei.Expats