The introduction of shared...
The introduction of shared bicycles, which are a pretty common sight these days in cycling-friendly Singapore, has been both a boon and a bane. And it seems that the bane factor has taken itself to another level, thanks to the increasing number of reports on illegal parking and abuse of the shared bikes. To tackle the problems, the Jurong-Clementi Town Council inked a memorandum of understanding with the three bike-sharing companies - Mobile, ofo Singapore and oBike - to manage issues arising from illegal parking or unsafe bicycle use.
According to the terms of the MOU, each of the three bike-sharing companies shall set up a 24-hour contact centre to respond to reports relating to the misuse of their bikes. Once notified, they will have to remove the bicycle within four hours, if alerted between 8.30am and 7pm. Otherwise, the bicycle has to be removed by 7am the following day.
The MOU also formalises the requirement on the bike-sharing companies to possess bicycle geolocation technology, as well as to subscribe to third-party insurance.
As part of the MOU, the three bike-sharing companies will be providing users with incentives, such as credits, if they park their bicycles in designated areas. The companies will also be providing the authorities with data on the cycling patterns of their users to complement the planning of future cycling paths.
Aside from the MOU, there will be 30 new sites - in Jurong - with dedicated parking spaces for shared bicycles to mitigate the problem of reckless parking. The new parking lots are an addition to the existing 120 bicycle racks.
The MOU was part of a one-year pilot scheme to promote responsible bike-sharing in Jurong through partnerships with the three firms.
MP Ang Wei Neng, who is also the Chairman of Jurong-Clementi Town Council, said: "Some agencies feel that rental bikes are a nuisance because they can be found parked anywhere, indiscriminately. This is something we want to minimise."
Mr Ang added that the pilot scheme will be watched by other constituencies and town councils and the success of the scheme will depend on the responsible behaviour of users, which can be achieved through education.