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Hangzhou's Massive Bike-Share System Dwarfs All Others

China has, in a few short years, built a 50,000-bike system for a city of nearly 7 million people.

Bike-sharing isn't just for affluent, progressive Western cities anymore. A couple weeks ago, Dani Simons from the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy wrote about Mexico City's impressive pilot program, which is succeeding in the face of typical Third-World urban challenges. And now, as this video from Streetfilms and ITDP shows, a Chinese city is taking the bike-share concept and utterly dominating it.


Hangzhou, China has, in a few short years, built a 50,000-bike system that dwarfs all other noble contenders. Montreal, Mexico City, Washington D.C., London and Paris, all of which are regularly lauded for their systems, all launched with between 1,000 and 10,000 bikes, and Paris's Velib now has 20,000 bikes. Check out this amazing video.

[vimeo][/vimeo]

Now, let's drive home some of these ridiculous numbers, courtesy of Elizabeth Press at Streetfilms:

The 50,000-bike system in this southern China city of almost 7 million people (about 1.5 million people fewer than New York City) blows all other bike-shares off the map. As Bradley Schroeder of the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy said, "I don't think there is anywhere you can stand in Hangzhou for more than a minute or two where you wouldn't have a Hangzhou Public Bike go past you."
Hangzhou's 2,050 bike-share stations are spaced less than a thousand feet from each other in the city center, and on an average day riders make 240,000 trips using the system. Its popularity and success have set a new standard for bike-sharing in Asia. And the city is far from finished. The Hangzhou Bicycle Company plans to expand the bike-share system to 175,000 bikes by 2020!

175,000 bikes is an astonishingly ambitious number. And does anyone doubt that the Chinese authorities will pull it off?

Hangzhou, it's worth mentioning, is not to be confused with Guangzhou, the third largest city in China that has one of the world's best bus rapid transit systems.

Hangzhou also has some good bus rapid transit options, and the bike-share is wisely integrated with those stops and stations. Importantly, the bikes are also free for the first hour of use, and the city's more than 2,000 bike-share stations are spaced out less than 1,000 feet apart, making this the perfect option for short-distance errands and getting that "last mile" in daily commutes.

[Update: This post was updated to clarify the number of bikes in various bike shares around the world.]

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This article was produced in partnership with the United Nations to launch the biggest-ever global conversation on the role of cooperation in building the future we want.

When half of the world's population doesn't share the same opportunity or rights as the other half, the whole world suffers. Like a bird whose wings require equal strength to fly, humanity will never soar to its full potential until we achieve gender equality.

That's why the United Nations made one of its Sustainable Development Goals to "Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls." That goal includes providing women and girls equal access to education and health care, as well as addressing gender-based discrimination and violence against women and girls.

While there is still much work to be done, history shows us that we are capable of making big leaps forward on this issue. Check out some of the milestones humanity has already reached on the path to true equality.

Historic Leaps Toward Gender Equality

1848 The Seneca Falls Convention in New York, organized by Elizabeth Lady Stanton and Lucretia Mott, is the first U.S. women's convention to discuss the oppression of women in sociopolitical, economic, and religious life.

1893 New Zealand becomes the first self-governing nation to grant national voting rights to women.

1903 Marie Curie becomes the first woman to win a Nobel Prize. She is also the only woman to win multiple Nobel Prizes, for Physics in 1903 and Chemistry in 1911.

1920 The 19th Amendment is passed in the U.S. giving women the right to vote in all 50 U.S. states.

1973 The U.S. Open becomes the first major sports tournament of its kind to offer equal pay to women, after tennis star Billie Jean King threatened to boycott.

1975 The first World Conference on Women is held in Mexico, where a 10-year World Plan of Action for the Advancement of Women is formed. The first International Women's Day is commemorated by the UN in the same year.

1979 The UN General Assembly adopts the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), also known as the "Women's Bill of Rights." It is the most comprehensive international document protecting the rights of women, and the second most ratified UN human rights treaty after the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

1980 Vigdis Finnbogadottir of Iceland becomes the first woman to be elected head of state in a national election.

1993 The UN General Assembly adopts the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women, the first international instrument to explicitly define forms of violence against women and lay out a framework for global action.

2010 The UN General Assembly creates the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) to speed progress on meeting the needs of women and girls around the world.

2018 The UN and European Union join forces on the Spotlight Initiative, a global, multi-year initiative focused on eliminating all forms of violence against women and girls.

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As the UN celebrates its 75th anniversary, it is redoubling its commitment to reach all 17 Sustainable Development Goals, including gender equality. But it will take action and effort from everyone to ensure that women and girls are free from discrimination and violence. Learn more about what is being done to address gender equality and see how you can get involved here.

And join the global conversation about the role of international cooperation in building the future by taking the UN75 survey here.

Let's make sure we all have a say in the future we want to see.

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Perez claims he was responding to insults hurled at him by the officers. The police say that Perez was picking a fight. The altercation left Perez with a broken nose, scrapes, swelling, and bruises from his hips to his shoulder.

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