[UPDATE: As of December 2019, a Taiwanese ID card is required when registering for YouBike. ARCs and APRCs are not accepted. We will update the post if there are any changes to this policy.]
YouBike offers a cheap and convenient service that is easy to register for and simple to use by anyone, even as a foreigner.
Here’s how you can start renting a YouBike to explore the city or one of Taipei’s many bicycle paths within minutes.
Important – There are 2 things that are required to register:
1. An EasyCard, as shown above,
2. A local phone number that is able to receive SMS messages.
You can find both, an EasyCard and a SIM card at most convenience stores, such as a 7-Eleven or a Family Mart store. They’re easy to get – just make sure you have both of them with you when you are registering for the YouBike service.
How to Register:
1. Find a YouBike (Ubike) terminal like the one shown above. These bicycles are yellow/orange and must be parked in the docking stations, unlike the other major bike-share service, oBike.
2. On the kiosk screen, select English in the bottom-left corner.
3. Select JOIN YOUBIKE.
4. Read and accept the privileges and notices on screen, (see below for more details).
5. Enter your local phone number. (Ensure that you’re able to receive text messages, as you will be receiving a confirmation code via SMS.
6. You should instantly receive a confirmation code. Check your phone for the numerical authorization confirmation code, and input it on the kiosk screen.
7. Choose a password for your account and enter it in twice for confirmation.
8. Confirm the bike rental procedures, (see below for more details).
9. Select the registration mode. The simplest way is to press your EasyCard against the sensor zone located below the screen for a few seconds.
10. That’s it, congratulations! Your registration is complete, and you should be able to rent a bike immediately.
How to use the YouBikes:
1. Locate a docked YouBike that looks suitable, so check the seat height, and inspect the condition of the bicycle such as the tires.
2. Approach the docking station like the one shown above.
3. Hold your registered EasyCard over the corresponding sensor zone until it beeps and the light flashes.
4. Pull the unlocked bicycle straight back from the dock.
5. Ride it to your next destination and find a nearby docking station.
6. Slide the bicycle into an empty dock. The light should change and you’ll hear a beeping sound.
7. Hold your registered EasyCard over the corresponding sensor zone until the beeping stops and the bicycle secures.
The Rental Charges:
- NT$5 for the first 30 minutes
- NT$10 per 30 minutes under 4 hours
- NT$30 per 30 minutes between 4 and 8 hours
- NT$40 per 30 minutes exceeding 8 hours
What You Need to Know – The Terms of Service:
After returning a YouBike, you cannot rent another bicycle from the same station within 15 minutes.
If you lose a YouBike, you must report it to the police immediately. However, if the bike isn’t found within 3 months, you may be liable to pay NT$9000 for the loss.
How to Find YouBike Stations:
The best way is to download a YouBike app on your phone. We recommend that you use the application called ‘Ubike’ by SDM Lab. You can find the app by searching for ‘Ubike’ in the Apple iTunes store or Google Play store.
Unlike many of the YouBike apps, this one is in English, and it’s quick and simple to use. In fact, the app works relative to your location as it displays all the nearby YouBike stations as map markers. The markers even show up with their individual status, indicating how many YouBikes are available at each station in real-time. You simply tap any of these markers to see the exact amount of available bicycles that are currently docking at each station. Markers without any available YouBikes will show up with an ‘X’, along with the average waiting time for another bike to be available at that particular station.
Please note: You could also search “YouBike” on Google Maps. Some of the stations will pop up but the list may not be comprehensive.
So, why not consider biking next time!?
We strongly recommend using the YouBike service. In addition, it’s only is it a healthy option, it’s simple to register, convenient and cheaper way to get around the city!
🗓️ Updated: February 17, 2018 – Taipei.Expats