YouBike offering compensatory free rental period Friday, Saturday

The company that operates the public bicycle rental service YouBike said Thursday that it is offering free rental for the first hour of usage on Friday and Saturday, to compensate for the suspension of its service since Wednesday due to a system glitch.

Users in the six counties and cities that were affected by the suspension -- Taipei, New Taipei, Hsinchu, Taoyuan, Taichung and Changhua -- will be able to rent YouBikes free of charge on Friday and Saturday for the first hour, the company said.

The normal rental fee will take effect from the second hour of usage, YouBike Co. said.

In addition, the company said, it has revised its regulations to make it easier for YouBike members participating in an event called "Love Yourself, Love the Earth, Ride YouBike Everyday" to become eligible for a lottery that offers various prizes.

The lottery was open to members who rented YouBikes at least 11 days in a month, but that has been changed to a minimum 10 in August, the company said.

As of 10 a.m. Thursday, 476 YouBike rental stations in Taiwan, including 291 in Taipei and New Taipei, had resumed operations as the system glitch was being repaired, the company said.

The company said it will issue updates, via its website and mobile app, on the progress of the repair work.

Meanwhile, users are advised to check in advance to see which bike stations are operational, the company said.

The glitch, caused by software damage during a system update, resulted in the malfunction of 17,317 rental stations in six counties and cities where there are 140,000 regular YouBike users, including about 100,000 in the greater Taipei area.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel