Cycling can be way of life in S'pore again

Over the past few weeks, a number of readers wrote about the problems with bike-sharing services (What community service do these firms provide?, by Mr Gabriel Moreau, Nov 29; and Bike-sharing mess not just LTA's problem, by Mr Lim Chee Khiam, Dec 1).

Bike-sharing operators do benefit the community in many ways.

Last month, I saw six boys cycling in Ang Mo Kio.

There was nothing unusual about the sight, except that one boy was on a black bicycle while his five friends were riding identical yellow bicycles.

It is because of bike-sharing operators like Ofo and MoBike that these young boys were able to enjoy an afternoon out riding together.

Bike sharing also makes it easier for people to move around different parts of Singapore without adding to the traffic jam and air pollution.

Furthermore, the cost that goes into learning to cycle is low, which means that more people can learn to ride a bicycle.

With this, hopefully, the authorities will invest less in widening roads and building new expressways for motor vehicles, and more into improving cycling paths.

In the meantime, when I see shared bicycles parked "indiscriminately", I will move them so they do not block access for other people.

When I see a shared bicycle on the ground, I will pick it up, and when I see a bike that has been thrown into the canal, I will report it using the OneService app.

I hope our streets will one day be like those of the Myanmar city of Mandalay 20 years ago, with very few cars and only the sound of the whirring of bicycle gears in the air.

Hopefully, the major "vehicle parks" in Singapore in the future will be rows upon rows of neatly parked bicycles.

Yum Shoen Liang

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 04, 2017, with the headline 'Cycling can be way of life in S'pore again'. Print Edition | Subscribe