SCOOTING THE NEVER NIGHT CITY

What do ex­pats think of the rise of e-bikes, mopeds and mo­tor­cy­cles in China?

Global Times – Metro Beijing - - FRONT PAGE -

In the ma­jor­ity of in­ter­na­tional cities, an in­tense pace of life has en­cour­aged com­muters to rely on a va­ri­ety of modes of trans­port. The Global Times hit the streets of Shang­hai to in­ter­view sev­eral for­eign­ers about which means of trans­port they fa­vor when com­mut­ing in Shang­hai.

Al­most half of the in­ter­vie­wees ex­pressed their sat-

is­fac­tion with the lo­cal sub­way sys­tem. Mag­gie from South Africa and Max from the US said they usu­ally take the metro be­cause of its con­ve­nience and low price. Mau­rice from Switzer­land said “I use mass rapid tran­sit on a reg­u­lar ba­sis, but some­times I choose to go by car to some far away places.”

Mar­tin from France told the Global Times that he thinks his elec­tric bike is the smoothest way to get around in Shang­hai, be­cause oth­er­wise he might get caught in a traf­fic jam when tak­ing a taxi or Didi. Sim­i­larly, Theo from France said that he bought a new e-bike about 2 weeks ago.

Ac­tu­ally, it is not un­com­mon to see for­eign­ers rid­ing e-bikes or scoot­ers on the roads of Shang­hai. This helps them avoid traf­fic con­ges­tion, es­pe­cially dur­ing rush hour, and also the crush of pas­sen­gers on pub­lic sub­ways and buses.

Mag­gie said that an e-bike helps save money and also get some­where fast. But for her, she per­son­ally prefers a tra­di­tional bi­cy­cle, be­cause she thinks the for­mal­i­ties of buy­ing and sell­ing a scooter are a lit­tle trou­ble­some.

“It’s not use­ful for me to get one as I’m liv­ing near a sub­way sta­tion now,” Mau­rice said, ex­plain­ing that some of his friends in Shang­hai have e-bikes, which they share and lend to each other when needed.

En­vi­ron­men­tally friendly

Max men­tioned the ad­van­tages of rid­ing e-bikes and said he no­ticed more lo­cal res­i­dents us­ing e-bikes be­cause they are cheaper and more mo­bile than a car. Sim­i­larly, Theo said “The e-bike is en­vi­ron­men­tally friendly, be­cause mo­tor­bikes cause pol­lu­tion, es­pe­cially in my home coun­try, France, there are a lot.”

Mar­tin from France said that he rides an old mo­tor­cy­cle to work ev­ery day but ad­mires Shang­hai for hav­ing more e-bikes. “Shang­hai is quite ad­vanced on the pop­u­lar­ity of those elec­tric bi­cy­cles,” he said.

More sig­nif­i­cantly, Mar­tin told us that two of his mo­tor­bikes have been stolen in Shang­hai, one of them next to IAPM Mall. “I just left it there for a few hours and when I came back it wasn’t there any more,” he said, but ex­plained that, “I didn’t go to the po­lice for help be­cause I think there’s lit­tle chance that they can find it.”

Mau­rice told us that some of his friends have had sim­i­lar ex­pe­ri­ences with thieves or get­ting towed away by the po­lice for vi­o­lat­ing traf­fic reg­u­la­tions.

In­deed, the chaos caused by the grow­ing num­ber of scoot­ers and e-bikes in Shang­hai has neg­a­tively af­fected the city’s image and rep­u­ta­tion, es­pe­cially due to the ex­press de­liv­ery boys who rely on scoot­ers to make quick but of­ten un­safe de­liv­er­ies.

Driv­ing safety

Mau­rice told us that he has seen many for­eign­ers in Shang­hai vi­o­lat­ing lo­cal traf­fic rules when rid­ing their e-bikes. “Of­ten times they side­walk. I’m not sure about if i in China, but it’s for­bid­den to d side­walks in Europe.”

“Prob­a­bly they don’t know th reg­u­la­tions, so I think it’s a goo Shang­hai to make all scooter dr eign and Chi­nese – pass a drivin or­der to get a li­cense,” Mag­gie t Times.

Mar­tin said that he was once yuan ($7.29) while rid­ing a mot cause he was un­fa­mil­iar with th laws. He sug­gested that re­lated tion de­part­ments widen bi­cy­cle or­der to keep scoot­ers off the sid out of the car lanes.

Ad­di­tion­ally, in terms of driv Mar­tin sug­gested that “all e-bike tor­cy­cle rid­ers should have to w like this one,” he said while rais brand-new red hel­met.

This story is based on a Global Times video.

More f for­eign­ers i pre­fer f to ride id scoot­ers i in China’s big cities. Send your tips, in­sights or pho­tos to or call our Ad­dress: The Global Times English Edi­tion, 2 Jin­tai Xilu, Chaoyang Dis­trict, Bei­jing 100026.

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