Found throughout the city are YouBike stations. A bike rental scheme set up by the government to help reduce traffic congestion and encourage people to get fit.
These are a good way to get around Taipei if you’re feeling more energetic.
How to Use a YouBike
There are two things you’ll need if you want to hire a YouBike:
- Taiwanese Phone Number
If you don’t already have a Taiwan SIM card, please visit my SIM Card page.
There are two ways you can register:
- Register online
- Register at one of the kiosks by a YouBike station
This is my preferred method since not all YouBike stations have kiosks.
It’s very simple to do, although you must register after you’ve arrived in Taiwan having already purchased your SIM card and EasyCard.
Visit the youbike registration website and enter the following details:
- Your Taiwanese phone number
- Your EasyCard (or iPass) number. This is the card you will use to unlock a bike at a YouBike station
- Your email and a password
You do not have to enter an ID Number if you are just visiting Taiwan. Instead, select Nothing More from the drop-down box.
Once you have filled in your details, click on the get verification code button and they will send you an SMS message with a verification code which you enter into the box provided.
And that’s it! You are now registered, and when you visit a YouBike station you simply need to present your EasyCard or iPass next to the panel on the YouBike to unlock your ride.
Most bike stations have a kiosk.
Select English language and simply follow the steps. You’ll need to enter your Taiwanese phone number, and it will send you a confirmation code that you enter into the kiosk. Next, you place your Easycard on the panel and you’re registered.
You then need to hold your Easycard against the panel on a bike docking station to release a bike.
Youbike 2.0 bicycles are currently being introduced to Taipei.
These have the card reader on the actual bike, so to use one of these you simply need to press the green button near the handlebars and then hold your Easycard next to the Sensor Zone.
Make sure that when you return the bike to another station, you also place your Easycard against the panel to confirm (otherwise you will be continually charged!)
Handy baskets at the front of the bike can be used to place any bags you have. The bikes also have three gears, a light that comes on automatically at night, and a bell. A lock has been placed in the basket should you need to secure your bike for a while.
Youbike 2.0 bicycles also let you secure the bike wherever you want. These have a lock you can put through the handlebars.
The charges for using a YouBike are as follows:
|NT$5||For the first 30 minutes|
|NT$10||Per 30 minutes for the next 4 hours|
|NT$20||Per 30 minutes between 4 to 8 hours|
|NT$40||Per 30 minutes after 8 hours|
There are discounts if you hire a bike within 60 minutes of using the MRT or city bus. You will get NT$5 off any YouBike rental within this time.
Taipei Cycle Routes
There are lots of cycle paths in Taipei with some next to pavements so always be aware of pedestrians. You will sometimes need to use the roads, which are usually very busy. It does though feel safe riding these in the city.
The following map lists all the cycle paths in Taipei and New Taipei City:
Zoom in to see all the cycle paths in the city
There are great cycling routes near the rivers, and a popular route that takes you all the way up to Danshui from Dadaocheng Wharf. That’s roughly 18km including a few hill-climbs, but it’s a lovely route that takes you near the Guandu Nature Reserve and the Mangrove Forest.
Visit this website to see the Danshui and four other riverside cycle routes.
Other nice areas to cycle include the National Taiwan University campus, and Shilin where I have devised a cycling route the takes you to the National Palace Museum and past some nice parks and gardens.
Useful Information about YouBikes
Always check that the seat is adjustable and not wobbly before you release a YouBike. Once you’ve released a bike, you will need to wait 15 minutes until you can take another one.
Most main roads only have bike lanes on one side.
Some YouBike stations are shown on Google Maps. However, if you download the free YouBike app for you phone (Android / iOS), it will show all locations and also tell you if there are bikes available at specific stations.
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