Consider how to make bike-sharing sustainable

There has been much controversy over bike sharing (LTA moves against badly parked bikes, June 18; and 4 teens nabbed over bicycle abuse case in Punggol, June 21).

Despite some cases of abuse, most users are still civic-minded and use the bicycles properly.

Still, I am worried about the concept's overall sustainability.

Many of these bicycles are parked out in the open, which makes me wonder what will happen to them once it starts to rain. Without shelter, water will inevitably cause rust, resulting in potential safety hazards.

Though I fully appreciate and support the idea of being able to ride and park the bicycles anywhere we want, I am surprised the bike-sharing companies seem to have left out any suggestion or advice on what they consider to be an ideal spot to park them.

Some sort of simple encouragement or guideline, like parking them under a shelter, will not compromise the appeal of this scheme. Rather, it will benefit both parties; the company gets to keep bicycle maintenance costs low while commuters get to use bicycles that are in good condition.

It is good that measures are being put forth to deter abuse. However, we should start to shift some focus to other issues like bicycle maintenance and safety to ensure the sustainability of these bike-sharing platforms.

Joanne Goh Shu Hsien (Miss)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 24, 2017, with the headline 'Consider how to make bike-sharing sustainable'. Print Edition | Subscribe