Five years ago we brought news courtesy of Aljazeera, of Hang Zhou‘s free public bike share. This June 2015 ChiangMai began a scheme practically identical with that of Hang Zhou with some differences.

Public Bike @ 3 Kings Square

For a description & Map see

The scale of course is different as Hang Zhou has a population of over 8 million and their scheme has 2000 bike stations and 50,000 bikes while we have 17 stations with 6 bikes per stop, Neither is ours free except for Thais 18 and over with a limit of one hour per day. So despite the fact the 24 inch wheel bikes are small enough for children as young as eight the service is not for the family, nor for Chinese unless they are proficient in Thai or English and with a dual pricing system there is yet one more reason to resent Thainess.

Funding I believe is from the World Bank Global Environment Fund as part of an 124,000,000 baht initiative supposedly meant to promote environmentally friendly transport. The first spending for the fund involved a controversial repaving of the Three Kings Square, followed in haste by mysterious bike lane markings.

The scheme is wildly uneconomic, is a very bad deal for tourists, and nothing has been done on the roads to improve cycling conditions, so as in any project associated with the Chiang Mai Municipal Government under a mayor who refuses to release financial figures one might wonder who be the beneficiary of the scheme and how long it will be on the road?