Lam Pin Min: Number of indiscriminately-parked shared bicycles “declining steadily”
The number of shared bicycles that were parked outside of designated parking spots have been declining steadily.
Taming indiscriminate parking
Speaking at the Ministry of Transport’s Committee of Supply debate on March 7, Senior Minister of State for Transport and Health Lam Pin Min said that this is the result of more stringent efforts in taming indiscriminate parking
Examples include implementing a QR code parking system and requiring operators to ban recalcitrant users.
These are conditions that operators need to fulfil as part of the bike-sharing licensing regime.
On the Ministry’s part, more bicycle parking lots were implemented to provide the infrastructure needed for proper parking. Lam said:
“We now have more than 220,000 bicycle parking lots islandwide, with all public housing located within a 5-minute walk from a public bicycle parking facility. We target to provide a total of 267,000 lots by 2020.”
Lam did not provide figures to illustrate his point, but said that the Ministry has made “great strides” in bring the indiscriminate parking situation under control.
The new licensing regime also included certain measures to mitigate problems when companies exit the market. Lam cited the example of oBike:
“For example, when oBike exited, it was difficult to locate the individual bicycles left behind which did not have location-tracking features. Under our licensing regime, licensees are required to install location tracking devices on their bicycles, and prepare plans to remove their bicycles in a timely manner should they exit the market.”
After the inaugural round of licence application, six bike-sharing operators were granted licences to operate in Singapore.
- SG Bike
- Grabcycle, and
- Qiqi Zhixiang
Currently, only four out of the six – Mobike, Sg Bike, Anywheel, and Qiqi Zhixiang (骑骑智享) still seem to be active. The latter does not seem to have presence in Singapore.
On personal mobility device (PMD) sharing, Lam said that LTA is proceeding cautiously in assessing the impact of such services. This applies to shared e-scooters.
“We will start conservatively, with new operators restricted to small fleet sizes of up to 500 PMDs under a one-year sandbox licence period. This gives LTA time to assess sandbox licensees’ ability to comply with regulatory requirements, before granting them a larger fleet size under a full licence.”
Furthermore, PMD-sharing licences will be subjected to PMD-specific safety requirements such as certification and having identification stickers and tracking devices.
Lam ended his speech by promising that the government will continue to support Singaporeans’ aspirations for healthier lifestyles and safer journeys:
“As active mobility becomes more popular, we will continue to promote a safe path-sharing culture and ensure that device-sharing operators provide their services in a safe and responsible manner.”
Top image by Joshua Lee.