Now, I am going to share about three disadvantages of bike-sharing services that my team and I have discovered. The three disadvantages are misusing of the bikes, obstructions on pedestrian walkways and how it could endanger the safety of pedestrians if met with unsafe riders.
1. Firstly, although bike-sharing services in Singapore was introduced not long ago, the number of cases for misusing and vandalising of the bikes have been increasing in Singapore.
A. Cases of the bicycles being abused, mistreated and stolen took the internet by Storm, Singapore’s number one social networking and citizen media website.
B. Several cases of incidents were reported in online media. As at 21 November 2017, five police reports have been lodged for abuse of Singapore’s local bike-sharing operator, oBike.
C. Some of the minor cases that has brought attention to the bike-sharing operators are users found chaining bicycles outside their houses to prevent other users from using it. While some other uses brought the bicycles up to their house floors making it hard for other users to find it. Besides that, some of these bicycles were repainted by users.
D. In addition, there are a few cases of damaging of bicycles. For instance, parts of the bikes were removed and damaged including the bikes’ number plates, QR codes and the lock of the bikes. Recently, two boys were caught on a video for damaging the locks of Ofo bikes to avoid paying for the fare.
E. According to a news article from The Straits Times, a 14-year-old boy was arrested on 15 June 2017 for throwing an Ofo bike from a high-rise HDB flat in Whampoa. The video of the boy went viral on the internet and caught the attention of bike-sharing operator, Ofo.
F. Similar incidents occurred on 22 November 2017, where a video of a couple caught dumping bikes in drain at Lower Delta Road went viral.
2. Secondly, apart from cases of bicycles being abused, mistreated and stolen, the bicycles are becoming a public nuisance in Singapore for causing obstruction and inconvenience to the public.
A. Not only that, it also causes inconvenience for wheelchairs user and other personal mobility aids.
B. Land Transport Authority (LTA) said, despite putting in efforts to increase spaces to encourage cyclists to park the bicycles at the appropriate parking spaces, the problem of indiscriminate parking continues to persist.
C. According to Land Transport Authority (LTA), there were about 600 bicycles that were randomly parked in June 2017 and LTA officers have been issuing about 1000 removal notices to all three bike-sharing operators since the start of 2017.
D. Despite receiving the notices, 135 bicycles from all three bike-sharing operators -Ofo, oBike and Mobike had been seized for failure of removing the bikes within the given period.
E. Recently, The Sunday Times interviewed one of LTA’s officers Mr Asrul Fahmi Rashid. In the interview, he mentioned that some of the bicycles were parked in the middle of the walkways, and bus stops causing inconvenience to pedestrians and commuters to alight and board the buses.
F. According to a news article from TODAY, citizens were frustrated with the bicycles being parked randomly and abandoned in their neighbourhood.
G. OneService mobile application was established by Municipal Services Offices (MSO) and Government Technology Agency (GovTech) as part of the government’s efforts, allowing residents to report about random parking and abandoned bicycles.
3. Lastly, it could also endanger the safety of pedestrians if met with unsafe riders. Bike-sharing operators in Singapore are aware of irresponsible and unsafe riders.
A. Mr Andrew Seow from The Straits Times said that there was no problem with cyclists and pedestrians sharing walking space, but the problem arises when many cyclists think they have priority over pedestrians and thinks that pedestrians should give way to them.
B. However, cyclists did not dismount from their bikes or slow down their speed but instead they ring their bells so that pedestrians will make way for them. In addition, some of the cyclist scolded pedestrians for not giving way to them.
C. Several unpleasant experiences and a few accidents where pedestrians were hurt have been reported in the news.
D. The first cyclist to be taken to court for knocking down and injuring an elderly woman was Mr Lim Choon Teck. After knocking down the victim, Mr Lim sped away leaving her with fractures on her right arm.
E. Similarly, Miss Shirley Ke suffers from back pains after being hit by a cyclist. According to Miss Ke, the cyclist did not apologise to her but instead the uncle just stared at her and showed her signs of annoyance for blocking his path.
F. However, government have been keeping track of the behaviour of irresponsible and unsafe riders and actions have been taken to prevent more accidents from happening.