SINGAPORE: Bicycle-sharing operators have signed an agreement with Singapore authorities to encourage the responsible use of their services and address the problem of abandoned bicycles, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) said on Thursday (Oct 5).
The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), signed by five bicycle-sharing operators, LTA, the National Parks Board and 16 town councils, lays out a set of mutually agreed guidelines to reduce disamenities arising from bicycle-sharing services and improve public safety.
The five operators are obike, ofo, Mobike, Gbikes and SG Bike.
Currently, the operators are required by LTA to remove indiscriminately parked bicycles within half a day. They will be adopting geo-fencing technology to track whether their bicycles have been parked within designated parking zones and take measures to prevent indiscriminate parking. Operators will also remove faulty bicycles within a day.
Geo-fencing involves the setting up of a virtual boundary so that an alert is triggered when a mobile device leaves or enters the area "fenced".
ofo said it will officially introduce its geo-fencing technologies by the end of the year. ofo users get a notification from the mobile app if they fail to park and end their trips within the designated parking zones.
"Exact details on penalties will be provided nearer to the end of the year," ofo said.
And if accidents happen, users will be covered by public liability insurance. Operators will also share anonymised trip data with LTA to facilitate the planning of "active mobility infrastructure".
"Information of users will only be released to the relevant enforcement authority to facilitate investigation and enforcement work in the case of accidents resulting in injury, death or property damage," LTA said.
The MOU applies to the operation of other shared active mobility devices, such as shared personal mobility devices and power-assisted bicycles.
More than 4,000 yellow boxes for the parking of bicycles, which can accommodate 20,000 bicycles, will be provided by the end of the year, LTA said. These can be found at Housing Board estates, parks, park connectors and at MRT stations and bus stops.
LTA said it will continue to take strict enforcement action against indiscriminate parking, and consider stronger regulatory measures if bicycle-sharing operators do not operate responsibly.