|Nubijas at a station|
Nubija is an unmanned rental public bicycle which is applied a ubiquitous computing. Nubija means ‘it crisscrosses all over Changwon in freedom’ and it is a compound word of ‘crisscross’ and ‘bicycle’. It is a life-type bicycle which everyone can use anywhere with ease; women and the old can ride with the 7-speed transmission and check their average speed, mileage, and transit time with dashboard attached on the handle. In addition, total 249 of Nubija terminals which we can find in Changwon anywhere are installed in where people can be easily accessible and available. People can browse other terminals’ current statues and use services at the kiosk installed at terminals. Most of all, a daily use costs only 1,000 won, a weekly use costs 2,000 won, a monthly use costs 4,000 won, and a yearly use costs 30,000 won. Its economic price appealed people the most.
It played a role for Changwon to emerge as a Green City and has been introduced throughout the country for winning the 1st place of sustainable transportation award. Furthermore, it was introduced as the best practice for the public bicycle throughout Japan.
While Nubija became a model all over the country after instituting the public bicycle for the first time in Korea, there left much to be desired. It is true that it achieved a qualitative growth in 8 years but limitations revealed with the growth.
First of all, even though Changwon has integrated with Masan and Jinhae 6 years ago, Masan and Jinhae aren’t equipped with enough infrastructures such as cycle lane. Especially, due to the serious gap between the grounds, numerous people are suffering from the use of Nubija. This is the reason for the low using rate in Masan and Jinhae.
Secondly, every year, Changwon uses 4.5 billion won in average for operating expenses such as system maintenance expenses, personnel expenses to repair and deliver Nubija. However, it is 1.5~2 billion won that Nubija users pay, so the deficits are 3 billion won every year. Therefore, they cannot invest additional bicycles in Masan and Jinhae because of the financial conditions; citizens complain a lot.
To overcome these faults, various people raise their voices to adopt electronic bicycles. They say that it will provide users with advantages because it is not affected by the relief of grounds. Besides, it does not cost a lot, so it will lead to virtuous circle of profits as number of users increase.
Besides, in Korea, electronic bicycles are classified as a two wheeled car, so we need licenses to ride unlike other leading countries. They pointed out that a related bill has been also deliberated but there is no progress; it should be revised as soon as possible.
To make a new leap for Nubija, it is now time for Changwon to work out a way of the electronic bicycle adoption, law revision, and construction of infrastructure.
Seo Su-jin,reporter email@example.com
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