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Yamaha PAS rent-a-cycles for Kyoto Helping preserve the environment in this important tourist city

December 03, 1997

Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. recently lent a total of 60 units of the Yamaha PAS electro-hybrid bicycle to rental operators in the Arashiyama-Sagano districtof Kyoto on a trial "monitor" basis.
Kyoto is actively promoting a program of reducing exhaust gas and noise in o
rder to protect the city's priceless cultural heritage and this move came in response to the city's directive to cycle rental operators to introduce electro-hybrid bicycles in their rental fleets.

PAS rent-a-cycles in use in Japan's tourism capital, Kyoto

The Arashiyama-Sagano district of Kyoto is an important tourist area that includes temples like Tenryu-ji, which has been designated a World Heritage site. The tourist traffic into this area has also brought with it a severe plague of exhaust, noise and traffic jams that the city is seeking ways to combat. In order to protect the invaluable cultural assets of this district by reducing automotive exhaust and noise while at the same time boosting its image as a tourist area, the city of Kyoto is considering designating the Arashiyama-Sagano district as a "Priority Area for Low-pollution Vehicles."
In a report issued this past March by an independent specialized research organization commissioned by the city of Kyoto in connection with this plan, the following conclusion was reached: "By beginning with a concentrated introduction of various types of nonpolluting vehicles for services like city buses, local taxis, buses for daycare, nursery schools and facilities for the elderly, etc., that pass through the district, it would eventually be possible to declare the district a complete 'Free Zone for Low-pollution Vehicles' which no gasoline or diesel powered vehicles would be allowed to enter."

It also happens that from December 1 to 10, Kyoto was host to the summit on global warming (COP3) attended by some 5,000 representatives from over 170 nations and international organizations. Seizing the occasion of the COP3 summit, the city of Kyoto issued a directive to rental cycle operators to introduce electro-hybrid bicycles into their fleets as vehicles that could be used in such a 'Free Zone,' thus demonstrating as the host city one type of practical measure that cities can undertake to deal with environmental problems. In answer to this call, Yamaha was able to support the city's program by supplying its electro-hybrid bicycle PAS on a monitor lease basis.

The PAS electro-hybrid bicycles were lent to the following four operators in the Arashiyama-Sagano district.

· Arashiyama Cypic: Nishi-ichikawa-cho, Arashiyama, Nishikyo-ku
· Rent-a-cycle Kyoto: Tsukurimichi-cho, Saga Tenryu-ji, Ukyo-ku
· Sagano Kanko Tetsudo (Sagano Tourist Railway): Kurumamichi-cho, Saga Tenryu-ji, Ukyo-ku
· Arashiyama Ladies Hotel: Tsukurimichi-cho, Saga Tenryu-ji, Ukyo- ku

To each of the operators have been lent units of the Yamaha "New PAS" 24-inch and the "PAS Star Cross" that are now being rented out to tourists for getting around the area. As for the number of units, Arashiyama Cypic received 20 units, Rent-a-cycle Kyoto and Sagano Tourist Railway were each lent 15 units and the Arashiyama Ladies Hotel 10 units, bringing the total to 60 units.

Arashiyama-Sagano is a hilly district where a number of famous temples are spread over a relatively large tourist area. In the past, rental cycle shops would often hear complaints about the difficulty of riding conventional bicycles over the hills of the area, but since the Yamaha PAS has been introduced the "fun" of riding them has made them increasingly popular.
One 26-year-old woman commented, "With a vehicle like the PAS to get around with there is no need to come by car. A combination of trains and a rental PAS is all you need to fully enjoy sightseeing here."
Another woman (32) said, "It is cars coming into the narrow streets of the Arashiyama-Sagano district that cause the traffic jams here. Bicycles are a good means not only to relieve traffic congestion but also help ensure the safety of pedestrians. Especially bicycles like the electro-hybrid Yamaha PAS with their reduced physical strain for the users are something that people feel good about renting."

The electro-hybrid bicycle Yamaha PAS

The electro-hybrid bicycle is a product that was originally developed and released by Yamaha Motor as a world's first. The PAS's Power Assist System utilizes sensors to measure the pedaling force applied by the rider and the speed of the bicycle and, based on these parameters, automatically supplies a commensurate amount of supplementary driving force from the battery-powered electric motor. At times like starting up or riding uphill, into the wind or with a heavy load, the sensors instantly detect the increased force being applied to the pedals and answer by increasing the drive force from the motor.
However, as the bicycle speed increases past a certain point the amount of supplementary force applied from the motor decreases proportionately, and when it reaches a predetermined top speed the power assist system shuts off completely and the bicycle is powered solely by the rider?s pedaling, so there is no fear of the bicycle reaching excessive speeds due to the action of the motor.
At present there are seven models in the PAS line-up. The PAS power units are also being sold on an OEM basis to major bicycle manufacturers in Japan, Europe and the U.S.A., helping to bring total production of the units to the 250,000 mark in 1997.

Tourists ride rent-a-cycles on the road leading to the
Adashino Nenbutsu-ji Temple in Sagano.
(New PAS 24-inch)

The Rent-a-cycle Kyoto shop front at
Arashiyama Station on the Keifuku Dentetsu railroad line

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