New direction in bike-sharing good for all

As a proponent of sustainable urban living, I am excited about the latest changes to the bicycle-sharing scene and curious about how they will solve the problems with the bicycle-sharing system (Bike-sharing firms to use tech to tackle parking issues; Oct 6).

Earlier this year, there were cases of users throwing the bicycles from HDB blocks and also into canals.

Such cases are few and far between, considering the large number of people utilising these bicycle-sharing services, but they could grow into a bigger problem if inadequate countermeasures are introduced.

Therefore, I feel that the push for geofencing, price hikes for offenders, and the clearing and replacing of bicycles by firms are a step in the right direction towards a bicycle-friendly Singapore.

As an increasing number of Singaporeans switch to cheaper and greener forms of transportation to get around the neighbourhood, these changes are, no doubt, well timed.

Currently, the combination of GPS and yellow boxes at designated locations like bus stops have brought about some success.

But it is not a perfect solution - some boxes are too small, and GPS functions may be inaccurate, resulting in some bicycles still being parked outside of those boxes. There is also the issue of whether the locations of the boxes are optimised to suit users' needs.

But it is still a good effort because irresponsible users are punished while responsible ones can continue using these services.

This would not have been possible without cooperation between the bicycle-sharing firms and government agencies.

Even though bike-sharing companies will be inconvenienced by these changes, their dedication to tackling the irresponsible use of bicycles is to be praised.

Going forward, I am hopeful of the bicycle-sharing scene's expansion without affecting the orderliness and cleanliness our country is so famous for.

Oh Jing Ke

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 10, 2017, with the headline 'New direction in bike-sharing good for all'. Print Edition | Subscribe