Wednesday, June 3, 2015
Kagoshima has set up an interesting bike rental system this year. They've tried doing this the last couple years, but they seem more serious about it now. The lime green bikes have the Kagoshima name on them, making it pretty clear that you're not going to be able to steal them unnoticed. There are bike rack locations all over the place, with smartphone readers like the green box in the back. You use your electronic wallet on the reader, which starts the clock. If you turn in the bike at one of the other stands within 30 minutes, the ride is free. Otherwise, you're charged in 30 minute increments (about $3 USD each). Initially, it looked like this was intended to help boost tourist traffic to various sightseeing spots, but that's not likely if you have to have the electronic wallet (smartphone) to get the bike in the first place. Most of the riders I've seen have been salarymen.