Tweak bike sharing to boost last-mile connectivity

Bike-sharing schemes could be a positive disruptive influence by improving public transport accessibility, especially at the "last mile" between the transport hub and the commuter's final destination.

However, more complaints have been heard than accolades. These include how our reputation as a "city within a garden" has been tarnished by bikes parked haphazardly in odd places.

I propose several solutions:

First, all users must pay a deposit for the bikes. Those who do not park at geofenced areas would lose their deposit. Losing credits alone - as Mobike has implemented - is not enough.

There should also be enough geofenced areas and parking spaces in void decks, outside condominiums and around private estates and transport hubs. Bike companies should bear the full cost of works.

Second, promotions such as "free first 15 minutes" should not be allowed. Bikes could have been marooned because riders ran out of free time.

Third, the number of bikes in each region should be limited, and the redistribution of bikes assiduously done when they "bunch" in places.

Achieving last-mile connectivity is the holy grail that town planners aspire towards.

But it is too much to expect full door-to-door connectivity.

In fact, to walk the last few hundred metres is actually healthy.

Huang Shoou Chyuan (Dr)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 01, 2018, with the headline 'Tweak bike sharing to boost last-mile connectivity'. Print Edition | Subscribe