6 months ago

Going Green – Experiencing the Ecomobile Lifestyle

ISBN 978-3-86859-512-3

No choice but a

No choice but a motorbike Tired of the few options provided on campus, Mr. Tsao goes looking for his meals outside the university every day. He moves around by motorbike, and is highly dependent on his vehicle at NSYSU due to the university’s mostly hilly campus and the frustrating bus services, both university-run and city-run, that connect the campus with the outside world. He has only tried the buses twice—the long waiting times (fifteen minutes during peak hours and thirty minutes off-peak), usual delays, and a limited number of seats (twelve) in the bus all pushed him back to his motorbike before long. Many of Mr. Tsao’s fellow students at NSYSU must feel the same way about the bus services and therefore have no choice but to move around by motorbike. A former sports field located just outside his dormitory was repurposed as a parking lot for motorbikes a few years ago as a result of the ever-growing number of motorbikes owned by students. Mr. Tsao has six years of experience riding a motorbike since starting his undergraduate studies in Taoyuan. The motorbike’s affordability and ease of parking compared to a car, however, has come with a price for him. Despite having always been a careful motorcyclist, he experienced two major injuries in traffic. Once he was hit by a car coming from the opposite direction making a sudden turn, resulting in the loss of one of his front teeth and bruises on his arms and legs. In a second incident he was cut on the right foot (he was wearing sandals) by the opening door of a car parked along the roadside, leading to three painful weeks of recovery and medical costs of almost NT$ 10,000, which were fortunately fully covered by his insurer. 48

Going Green Getting accustomed to the pedelec Mr. Tsao, studying the EcoMobility World Festival in Kaohsiung for his coursework, tried a pedelec himself in place of his motorbike during the festival. Although feeling good riding the pedelec where the ground is even, Mr. Tsao considered it difficult to use the pedelec for uphill trips and unsafe for downhill trips on the university’s mostly steep roads. If Mr. Tsao were to give the pedelec one more chance, he would likely come to appreciate it—particularly if it weren’t a ladies’ bike, like the one he tried during the festival, and even more so if he had the chance to try an electrically assisted mountain bike. • 49