Expats in Taiwan now banned from renting bikes

Published:  18 Dec at 6 PM
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Expats living in Taiwan are angry about being banned from renting bikes.

A recent change in YouBike’s rental policy has angered a good number of expats living and working in Taiwan as they’re now banned from using the popular bike-rental service via there EasyCard smartcards. Furious foreigners who’ve regularly used the convenient service for getting about the congested city of Taipei are claiming the ban shows the country’s discrimination against expatriates.

The ban was the brainchild of Taipei’s department of transportation, which is now claiming it’s in response to an increasing number of accidents being caused by expat riders. The new rules now require would-be bikers to register in their real names as well as showing a national ID number, proving their date of birth and giving other personal data. Apparently, the extra requirements allow riders to take out accident insurance as well as health insurance plans and third-party insurance.

As increasing numbers of expats realise they’re now unable to rent bikes, letters of complaint are being sent to YouBike.Co, with disappointing replies the norm. Basically, YouBike are making it crystal clear that only Taiwanese nationals are allowed to rent their bikes in the usual manner, adding that expats can still use the service if they use their credit cards and pay an NT$2,000 deposit.

Said ‘deposit’ will be refunded to the renter’s card after seven days, annoying expat renters even more. Many expat residents are now suggesting the move will harm Taiwan’s popular tourist image, as the majority of visitors prefer to rent bikes to explore the metropolis rather than using more conventional methods of transportation.
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