Cycling in Saitama, Japan
Rent-a-cycles are commonly regarded as something to be used by tourists, but in June, an unmanned bicycle rental facility was opened adjacent to a rail station in Saitama City, located north of Tokyo. Once registered, people will receive a special IC card that permits them to borrow vacant bicycles at a cost of 100 yen (US$1) per six-hour period. Payment is automatically deducted from users’ credit cards. It is also possible to log on to the Internet and determine availability of bicycles at any given moment. As this station is used by many students who commute to Saitama University which is about three kilometers away from the station, it is certain that they have been targeted as the primary users.