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Seoul city's bike service users soar amid pandemic

Seoul's public bike rental service
Seoul's public bike rental service "Ttareungyi" (Seoul Metropolitan Government)
The accumulated membership of Seoul's public bike service has surpassed 2.78 million, largely due to high demand for personal transport means amid the coronavirus pandemic, the city government said Wednesday.

The tally translated into one in every four Seoul citizens using the city's unmanned bike rental service, dubbed Ttaereungyi in Korean.

The growth was particularly great last year, when nearly 1.21 million people newly became members, amounting for 43.3 percent of the total users.

"Ttaereungyi became a means of daily transport as people looked for a vehicle that allowed them to maintain social distancing amid the pandemic," a city government official said.

Last year, the city government logged over 23.7 million rentals of its bikes, up 24 percent from the previous year. It meant that 64,946 people on average used the service every day.

The figure jumped a whopping 59.1 percent during the three months from February to April, when the country was hit by the first wave of COVID-19.

In particular, March saw the highest growth rate of 74.4 percent from a year earlier. (Yonhap)