Incorporate shared bikes into public transport system

Other than regulating operators' fleet sizes and passing new rules to curb the abuse of bike-sharing, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) should consider the feasibility of licensing bicycle operators, similar to the bus contracting model (New rules passed to curb abuse of bike-sharing; March 21).

The LTA could designate specific sectors, like the North, South, East, West and Central, to licensed bicycle-sharing operators to oversee. These operators would then be responsible for the upkeep of bicycle parking as well as the clearing of improperly parked bikes.

Bicycles belonging to other operators could be returned by the sector operator and bicycle users can park only at designated parking spaces, located near buildings, bus stops and MRT stations.

Payments through ez-link cards or Nets FlashPay should be incorporated into last-mile transport. If these shared bicycles are included into the public transport system as an alternative to the bus or train, commuters could then pay for transport based on distance covered so that they have the choice of either cycling or taking the bus.

If the bicycles are indiscriminately parked, damaged or misused, operators should be given the power to access the details of the last transaction to identify the user and make a report to the LTA, so that the culprits can be fined.

Gary Teo Teck Chye

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 26, 2018, with the headline 'Incorporate shared bikes into public transport system'. Print Edition | Subscribe