Sustainable bike-sharing model requires proper docking stations

As bicycle-sharing firms do not have proper docking stations for the return of their bikes, these bicycles have been left all over Singapore - along main roads, pavements, and in public and private areas.

The haphazardly parked bicycles are an ugly sight and cause inconvenience to pedestrians.

Even the Land Transport Authority (LTA) has been involved - helping to clear bicycles that are parked indiscriminately in places such as the middle of footpaths and bus stops (LTA moves against badly parked bikes; June 18).

But the question is, if under the bike-sharing model, riders are free to leave their bikes wherever their journey ends, which places are deemed acceptable to park and which areas are not?

Other than a bicycle-docking station, I cannot think of any area that would be deemed an acceptable parking space.

Rather than the LTA helping bike-sharing firms clear their bicycles, I appeal to the authority to insist that the firms install proper docking stations.

Riders should be required to return their bicycles to these docking stations to get their deposit back.

Riders can also go to these docking stations to rent a bike.

This may not be a model the firms would want, as it will cost money. However, it is a necessary move for bike-sharing to be sustainable in Singapore.

Toh Shieh Fern (Ms)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 26, 2017, with the headline 'Sustainable bike-sharing model requires proper docking stations'. Print Edition | Subscribe