Proper parking bays needed for shared bikes

Bicycle sharing is an innovative idea. It offers people the opportunity to use a bike without having to invest in one and worry about where to store it or how to maintain it.

Yet, there have been reports about the bikes being mutilated. Unfortunately, I have no solutions for this other than to urge the authorities to treat it as a crime no different from theft.

There have also been cases of users not being able to find bikes that they had reserved.

Most concerning is users leaving the bikes at bus stops, along walking paths and on the grass.

This obstructs the path of pedestrians and is very unsightly. It reflects badly on society and leads visitors to conclude that Singaporeans are not civic-minded and are concerned only about themselves.

The solution is to have proper and convenient parking bays for users to return the bikes to. If you cannot return the bike to a proper bay, you cannot use the service.

As the bike-sharing service is just being introduced and there are not enough parking bays, not everyone may be able to use the service yet. However, just as some of us have had to wait for an MRT station to be built close to our home, we can wait for the proliferation of parking bays.

Another option is to have the user pay a hefty deposit, such as $100. If the bike is not returned to a proper bay, the deposit will be lost. If this happens three times, the user will be barred from the service.

Let us not allow errant users to destroy the image of our society.

Ang Miah Boon

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on May 21, 2017, with the headline 'Proper parking bays needed for shared bikes'. Print Edition | Subscribe