An Introduction to Nubija

Nubija (Nearby Useful Bike, Interesting Joyful Attraction) is Changwon’s bicycle lending program.  It was started up in 2008, and as of Spring 2012, there are 230 unmanned terminals to check in and out the bikes, through use of a membership card (MyBi pass) or one-day pass (via the station kiosk).  A map or all the terminals is available on the website. It has a live update of the bikes available. You can also download the app for iPhone or Android by searching “NUBIJA”.

According to a pamphlet from Nujiba, here is the break down of terminals by gu:

Nujiba bikes feature a front basket, front and rear fenders, headlight, rear flasher, chain guard, seven-gear shifter, bell, adjustable seat, and in-handle display, with a clock and speedometer.  Consequently, they are a bit heavier and clunkier than an average road bike.  Do to the low gear ratio, a top speed of more than 25~27 km/h would take great exertion.

The advantages to Nujiba are many.

  • They are inexpensive (20,000 won for a year subscription).
  • Fast to check out/in
  • Do not require the rider to perform repairs or upkeep.
  • Especially in original Changwon, they are located everywhere.

The biggest downside to Nubija bikes is that because they are shared by everyone, you will often find damaged bikes, missing a bell, having a flat tire, or a messed up chain.  It is important to check your bike before departing the terminal.  If the bike doesn’t operate to your satisfaction, you can sub it back out for another bike.

To accommodate for this problem, as well as to correct any bike distribution inadequacies, Nujiba has trucks all over town to move bikes, either to a terminal needing bikes, or back to their repair center.

How to sign up for the yearly pass

According to Nubija’s pamphlet, membership can be attained four ways:

  • Sign up at on Nujiba’s website, then register your MyBi pass at a terminal.  Currently, there doesn’t seem to be a way to do this in English, and thus, requires the assistance of a Korean speaker.
  • Sign up at a City/District office, or a Eup/Myeon/Dong community center.
  • Sign up at Homeplus, Daedong Department Store or Gyeongnam Bank, which offers a Nujiba credit card.
  • Sign up at Nubija’s administration center.

View NUBIJA Headquarters in a larger map

The final option is most recommended, as the center is easy to find, generally has an English speaker, has an application form in English and is impressive to see, featuring a wall of screens showing live Nubija information around town. You can sign up on the weekends, and they are open until at least 5pm.

To sign up, you’ll need:

  • A valid Alien Registration Card
  • A phone, registered to you, not your school
  • 20,000 won in cash, for the sign up fee
  • A MyBi (bus) pass.  If you don’t have one of these, the center sells both a 6,000w and 8,000 model.   These can then be used like any other MyBi pass, able to hold money for public transportation.
  • Your address

These photos will make the process a little less mysterious!

At the center, don’t forget to pick up an English brochure, complete with a map of all terminals!

Once you get your pass, go to any terminal, scan your pass at the holder of the bike you want.  Hold it there until the bike ejects.  The bike is then yours.  Note:  The bike should be returned to any terminal within two hours of checkout.  Else, you might have further usage restricted.

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