SCOOTING THE NEVER NIGHT CITY
What do expats think of the rise of e-bikes, mopeds and motorcycles in China?
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.
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.
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.