Man throws ofo bike into canal: 5 other cases of misuse of shared bicycles

Youth throwing ofo bike into canal and riding inside MRT station.

SINGAPORE - Cases of bike misuse or vandalism have been increasing, since bike sharing services provided by MoBike, ofo and oBike were launched in Singapore earlier this year.

The companies have taken various steps to curb intentional damage or improper parking by introducing measures such as increasing designated parking spots, educating the public on responsible biking practices and also encouraging people to report incidents on Facebook or other social media apps.

Still, in the latest case, a shirtless young man was seen throwing a bicycle into a canal, said to be in Punggol. The act was caught on Snapchat and shared on Stomp.

The three bike-sharing companies offer similar service, with slight differences in their operation models. All of them allow bicycles to be rented via a mobile app, and users need not return the bicycles at a specific location. Instead, users can return them at any bike-parking area.

oBike is the most expensive service of the three, with rental prices starting at $0.50 for every fifteen minutes. Mobike comes next, with prices starting at $0.50 for every half an hour, while ofo charges users $1 an hour, but it is capped at $2 for an entire journey as long as the bicycle is not docked.

Here are five other instances of shared bike abuse in recent months.

1. Teen throws ofo bike from HDB block

A young man throwing an ofo bike from a Housing Board block in Whampoa on June 15, 2017. PHOTO: STOMP

A 14-year-old boy allegedly threw an ofo bicycle from a HDB block in Whampoa on Thursday (June 15).

The teenager was arrested on Friday. If convicted for Rash Act, he can be jailed for up to six months and/or fined up to $2,500.

2. oBike left in canal at Punggol

An oBike was found in a canal in Punggol on Wednesday (May 3). The bike-sharing company will be lodging a police report. PHOTO: STOMP

On May 3, a contributor posted a picture on citizen journalism site Stomp of a bicycle left in a canal at Punggol, stating that he saw the bike at around 4pm.

The bike was from bike-sharing startup oBike, whose general manager Mr Elgin Eee told The Straits Times that the incident was an isolated one.

The next day, Mr Ee told ST that the company would be lodging a police report over the incident.

3. ofo bike thrown and stomped on in Geylang Bahru

The teenager was filmed throwing the bicycle before stomping on it several times. PHOTOS: SCREENGRAB FROM TWITTER VIDEO

A teenager was filmed throwing and stomping on an ofo bike in Geylang Bahru area on April 17, and the video was posted on Twitter on the same day.

The next day, ofo lodged a police report,and posted a picture of it on Facebook. In the post, the company stated that it was aware of several other instances where its bikes had been misused.

4. ofo bike painted over and its lock replaced in Toa Payoh

An ofo Singapore bicycle in Toa Payoh Park with its original yellow painted over in white, masking the company's livery, and with the firm's lock replaced. ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR

On April 14, ST found an ofo bike in Toa Payoh Park with a coat of white paint over the bike's original yellow. The bike, found under an overhead bridge, had been painted such that the company's logo was covered. The company's bicycle lock had also been replaced.

A spokesman for ofo told ST that the company has experienced a "very low" rate of such cases, adding that the company usually contacts users who misuse the bikes, and that such users are usually apologetic over having misunderstood the service's rules.

5. ofo bike damaged and discarded in a drain at Yishun

Pictures of an ofo bike trashed and left in a drain were uploaded on Stomp on April 14, 2017. PHOTO: STOMP

One ofo bike was found dented and muddy near Block 651 Yishun Ave 4, in a drain behind a bus stop. Images of the bike were posted on citizen journalism site Stomp on April 14, showing visible damage as well as leaves caught in its wheels.

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