Bike-share firms need to build their own racks

Bike-sharing service operators must build and provide their own bicycle racks (Bike-sharing firms face parking woes; March 18).

Public bicycle racks are built and maintained with public funds or funds from town councils.

Private bike-sharing services are profit-driven enterprises and must not be allowed to make use of public facilities and resources to subsidise their cost of operation.

Like all other business owners, the bike-sharing firms must incorporate into their hire rates all costs related to the provision of separate racks and the orderly return of bicycles by hirers.

The operators should include administrative measures such as levying high deposits on hirers or adopting something similar to the system employed by supermarkets for their trolleys to prevent hirers from abandoning bicycles in public areas or at park connectors, which may inconvenience others.

As the bike-sharing business expands, it is timely to ensure that all such operators, which function like a private-hire car service, be compelled by law to insure all bicycles and hirers against accident claims and damage to property.

Sum Kam Weng

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 28, 2017, with the headline 'Bike-share firms need to build their own racks'. Print Edition | Subscribe