What community service do these firms provide?

Mr Edward Chen, co-founder and chief marketing officer of oBike, recently called on riders to be more civic-minded for "a pleasant experience for all" (Couple caught on video dumping bikes in drain; oBike files police report; Nov 22).

What "civic-mindedness" is he referring to?

Just take a stroll along the Singapore River and you will see the gaudy shared bicycles scattered all over, destroying years of laudable efforts to make the riverbanks a charming promenade.

The bike-sharing companies are 100 per cent private ventures which aim to be profitable. Are citizens expected to "behave" so that such ventures can make lots of money?

This is the true ugly side of bike-sharing: taking advantage of a flaw in public transport availability to make profits, while claiming to "serve" the community.

As a taxpayer, I do not agree with the idea of a private company using the public space for its own profit.

What service is it providing to the community?

In Paris, the "Velib" bike-sharing service is a real community-serving concept, based on shared responsibility between the private operator that supplies the bikes, the authorities that set up the rules and provide parking points and the users who have to pick up and return the bikes at those designated parking points.

Gabriel Moreau

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 29, 2017, with the headline 'What community service do these firms provide?'. Print Edition | Subscribe