Loopholes in bike-sharing scheme must be dealt with

Certainly, many people will welcome the new regulations proposed by the Land Transport Authority to curb the indiscriminate parking of shared bicycles (Bill tabled to license bike-sharing firms to curb illegal parking; March 6).

However, I would like to highlight some loopholes.

• How can the Land Transport Authority ensure that sufficient parking spaces are available at each MRT station? What can bike users do if there are no spaces available?

• After a user parks his bike at a designated space and scans the barcode to register his return of the bike, it is possible for anyone to move the bike to another place or mishandle it.

I suggest that closed-circuit television cameras be installed at each parking facility to capture acts of vandalism.

• All bike-sharing companies should share the names of blacklisted users with one another and the Land Transport Authority, so that irresponsible people cannot rent bikes from any firm.

• The Land Transport Authority or bike-sharing companies should require all users to pay a significant amount as a deposit.

The deposit would be refunded once they return their bikes at the parking facilities. Should there be any vandalism or indiscriminate parking, the deposit would not be returned.

The Land Transport Authority should have foreseen problems and found solutions before allowing such schemes as bike-sharing.

Ng Sung Nang

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 08, 2018, with the headline 'Loopholes in bike-sharing scheme must be dealt with'. Print Edition | Subscribe