Expats in Shanghai prefer e-biking to overcrowded public transport

Published:  20 Sep at 6 PM
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Due to massive overcrowding in Shanghai’s otherwise satisfactory public transport and on its roads, many expats are turning to e-bikes, scooters and motorbikes as a practical means of getting around.

An expat survey by an internationally-focused English language newspaper in the city revealed the majority of expatriates living and working in Shanghai are now the proud possessors of e-bikes, scooters and motor bikes after giving up on never-ending traffic jams and the twice-daily crush on public buses and the metro. Several approved of e-bikes as good way of saving money as well as cutting down on travel time, but many preferred the traditional push-bike as a way to exercise as well as dodge the traffic jams.

Other expat cyclists mentioned the complicated formalities involved in the purchase of a scooter or motorbike as their main reason for opting to pedal their way to and from work. E-bikes won praise for being eco-friendly as well as cheaper and more mobile than cars, with one French expat saying he admired the city for its support of electric bikes and their positive effect of not contributing to the city’s notorious smoggy air.

One useful comment by a biker was that expats riding two-wheeled transportation would do well to learn and obey Shanghai’s rules of the road, adding several of his friends had been in trouble with local police for breaking them. Another problem mentioned by interviewees was that bikes are too easy to steal, and the huge increase in the number of Chinese delivery boys caused comment as regards their unsafe riding habits. Several safety-conscious expats suggested wearing helmets should be compulsory and that widening the bicycle lanes would keep bikers safe as well as keeping scooters off the pavements.
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