• Zhongguancun 2013
Bike sharing becomes new way of transport, exercise in Phuket
( China Daily )
Updated: 2017-10-11

PHUKET, Thailand - Since Chinese bike sharing company Ofo launched its service in the Thai resort island of Phuket, smart bikes have become a new alternative mode of transport and exercise for locals and tourists.

On a narrow road between colorful verandas at the Old Town of Phuket, Thai students ride the yellow bikes with cars and motorcycles beside them as the daily scorching heat in Southeast Asia begins to fade.

A group of four Chinese tourists also found Ofo bikes here and used their app to unlock them and rode them away. "It is so convenient to find these smart bikes here," one of them said.

Ofo launched its service on the island with 1,000 bikes last month.

Tong, a Thai student, said: "I love it, not so many people know about bike sharing now, but we can already find many riding these bikes so I think the government would build bicycle lanes soon here and these bikes would be very popular."

Twelve shop owners in the Old Town allowed Ofo bikes to be placed in front of their shops.

Don Limnunthaphisit, also president of Old Phuket Town Community, is one of them.

He said: "The roads are narrow here, so if more and more people drive, there will be traffic problems and drivers cannot find parking places, so I think bikes, however, are more suitable for the Old Town, so I support it."

He urged local residents to use smart bikes to travel, especially over short distances, as riders can "do exercise at the same time and it is a very environmental-friendly way of travel".

Igor, a Russian man living in Phuket, rode his motorcycle to Suan Luang Park to ride an Ofo bike for exercise.

Thanakorn, a 40-year-old local, even drove his car to the park to ride a bike.

Great way to explore

But when asked whether they would ride the bikes outside the park, they had differing ideas.

Igor said it is great to have the bikes not only in the park but also around the Old Town. "It is great way to explore," he said.

However, Thanakorn said the infrastructure should be improved to make it safer to ride bikes on the narrow roads.

Another Thai resident, 50-year-old Robin, comes to the park every day for cycling.

"We Phuket people don't have many ways for exercise and these smart bikes are perfect. I recommend people to ride them to reduce obesity in our province," Robin said.


Bike sharing becomes new way of transport, exercise in Phuket

(China Daily 10/11/2017 page10)