• Many Chinese commuters are encouraged to ride bikes than cars.

Many Chinese commuters are encouraged to ride bikes than cars. (Photo : Getty Images)

The app aims to provide commuters with the number and location of available units that can be rented. The indicator of these units is colored raindrop icons.

This online service is integrated into the Beijing Transport app.

Jiao Tongmin, a director at the Beijing Municipal Commission of Transport, said, "We are promoting the public bicycle system to raise awareness that riding bikes are a way to live a healthy, green and low-carbon life."

Like Us on Facebook

This initiative is also in preparation for September, known to be the start of heavy congestion in Beijing. The transport commission would want to encourage commuters to consider using bicycles as an alternative mode of commuting.

Currently, there are 68,000 units available for rent. These units are distributed in 2,000 stations and there are 700,000 registered users.

The number of available bikes now exceeds the units available in Paris, which holds the global top spot for public bicycles.

"China used to be a kingdom of bicycles, and we have reason to believe that bicycles will have their prime again soon," said Zhang Weimin, deputy curator of the China Bicycle Museum.

However, some cities encountered problems with operations. Hubei Province had to stop its operations for one year due to management issues and resumed in 2014.

There were also problems in Beijing about inconvenient station locations and some users not returning bikes. The transport commission has taken these issues into consideration.

"We've already included services alerting the stations in our WeChat subscription account, and this time, we also included it in the application," said Rong Jun, a member of the Beijing Municipal Commission of Transport.

Another city with a successful bike system is found in Hangzhou where the province already has 66,500 units available in 2,700 stations.