SEOUL — The city of Seoul has launched a “rehabilitation” program for abandoned bicycles by partnering with a nationwide artificial intelligence startup and blockchain-based bicycle trading platform. Through the platform, Seoul can sell some 15,000 recycled bicycles every year.
In Seoul, an annual average of about 16,000 abandoned bicycles are collected by local district governments, but they are normally stored in warehouses due to the lack of sales channels. Previously, a monthly average of less than 20 recycled bicycles were sold in one neighborhood in eastern Seoul.
Seoul said in a statement on Jan. 4 that the capital has partnered with Wright Brothers, a bicycle swap platform operator, to demonstrate the sale of recycled bicycles online. The demo will target customers living in two districts of Seoul – the eastern district of Gwangjin and the southwestern district of Yeongdeungpo – and bikes will be sold in other areas in the future. Unlike ordinary online shopping malls, customers need to pick up their bikes from affiliated bike stores after placing an order. Currently, around 20 recycled bicycles are sold in the Wright Brothers online mall.
Wright Brothers CEO Kim Hee-soo told Aju Business Daily that prices for recycled bikes range between 50,000 won ($42) and 130,000 won. A new MTB-type bicycle costs about 300,000 won. Seoul said popularizing rehabbed bicycles could help reduce carbon emissions. Profits from the sale of recycled bicycles will be donated to local communities.
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