Award govt contracts to manage bike-sharing

Innovative technology has made bike-sharing possible. But it has resulted in the problem of littering in Singapore, with thousands of bikes left all over the place.

We need to regulate this industry before it gets out of hand. Its current trajectory is not sustainable.

The only way bike-sharing can be sustainable is through a shared public and private partnership.

The Government can invest in bike-parking infrastructure and then tender out the bike-sharing business through a competitive bidding process.

The winning company will be awarded the contract to manage bike-sharing throughout Singapore for a specified period of time under the supervision of the Land Transport Authority.

This will ensure that the Government has a say in key decisions, such as controlling the bike population, safety features on the bikes and proper parking, maintenance and disposal.

It should also have access to usage data for future planning purposes.

As with any new disruptive technology, the Government needs to balance the freedom and space for innovation with what is good for the public.

Thoughtful policies can make these innovative solutions sustainable in the long run.

Lester Lee Keng Kok

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 20, 2017, with the headline 'Award govt contracts to manage bike-sharing'. Print Edition | Subscribe