How Suburban Tokyo Promotes Cycling (without even trying)

Despite poor cycling infrastructure 14% of all trips made in Tokyo each day are made by bicycle. What is it about the city's suburbs that make cycling such an attractive transport option?

A Tour of Tokyo's Newest Bicycle Lanes

New bicycle lanes are appearing all over Tokyo, and thats great even if the lanes aren't so great themselves! We cycled as many as we could and here are our observations.

Fitness isn't a goal, it's a side effect

If you or a friend are cycling to get fit and not enjoying it then cycle to the shops instead. Before you know it you'll be fit, car free and better off financially.

How to Turn Your Old Mountain Bike Into a Tidy Commuter

Need a new commuter bike? Maybe not, because with a few cheap and easy modifications you can convert your mountain bike into a lighter faster commuter bicycle. Here's how ...

Japan's National Bicycle Commuting Ban

Strict government regulations and inflexible insurance rules effectively force companies in Japan to ban their employees from cycling to work. It's time for a change.

Cycling My Fuji and Fuji's Five Lakes

Climbing Mt Fuji by bicycle is a ride you have to put on your bucket list. The Pro's do it every year at the Tour of Japan, but us mortals can do it anytime we like.

March 31, 2010

Toyama introduces Japan's first full scale bicycle sharing system

A bicycle-sharing system introduced by a major French advertising company has been launched in Toyama, becoming the first of its kind in Japan.

The bike-sharing system, aimed at easing urban traffic jams and helping reduce greenhouse gas emissions through the shared use of bicycles, was launched in Toyama on Saturday by Cyclocity Inc., a subsidiary of French advertising giant JCDecaux that operates the service in Paris and 63 other cities in Europe.

After examining the popularity of the system in Toyama, Cyclocity, headquartered in Tokyo, plans to expand the program to all over Japan.

A similar bike-sharing system was run by the Ministry of the Environment in Tokyo's Marunouchi district on a trial basis last year, but this is the first full-scale introduction in the country.

There are 15 bicycle-parking lots set up at every 300 meters in central Toyama and 150 bicycles are available. With the purchase of a 500-yen monthly pass, registered users can ride the bicycles as many times as they want up to 30 minutes for free. The bicycles can be returned at the nearest parking lots.

The Toyama city government invested 150 million yen in improving facilities for the new system, which is designed to rely primarily on advertising revenue from advertisements carried on the bicycles and those displayed at parking lots. After the system's launch, university researchers will examine and analyze the program and announce the results.

Cyclocity President Thomas Guedron says his company aims to expand the system by offering a high-quality service.

You can learn more about the Toyama Cyclocity project, and purchase a subscription in English via their website.