SINGAPORE: An islandwide Quick Response (QR) code system to ensure that shared bicycles are parked within designated areas kicked in on Monday (Jan 14), catching some riders unawares.
The new measure – announced by the Land Transport Authority last year, requires users to scan a QR-code on top of locking their two-wheelers to properly end their trips. Not doing so would result in a S$5 charge in addition to their bicycle rental fees.
Users who fail to properly park and scan the QR-codes for three or more times in a year will face a month-long ban from all bicycle-sharing services. The ban period will increase with subsequent lapses.
LTA earlier said the move aims to encourage responsible parking habits and manage the disamenities brought about by indiscriminate parking of shared bicycles.
At East Coast Park on Monday, there were at least two users who were unaware of the new rules.
One cyclist, 38-year-old Hunter Mo, admitted he would need some time to get used to it.
"For me it's more trouble than before as I need to scan another QR code. I think I will forget (to scan), so I suggest that app operators can remind us," he said.
Ms Elyn Choo, 42, lauded the move as being an effective way to ensure bicycles are not left all over the place.
"We also must remember so that the money won't be deducted," she said.
Operator SGBikes said it has received feedback from users who were unsure of how to properly scan and return their bikes, and would be deploying employees on the ground to help them.
It is also leaving pamphlets on its bicycles with instructions from LTA on the correct procedure to return a bicycle.
“For the upcoming weeks and days, we will continue to educate our users. Apart from that, we will reach out to them via push notification and social media channels,” SGBikes marketing director Benjamin Oh told Channel NewsAsia.
Users who encounter damaged or missing QR codes can send a photo to operators via the respective bike-sharing apps.
The QR codes have been installed at public bicycle parking areas such as near yellow boxes, bicycle parking racks and walls. There are currently more than 210,000 bicycle parking lots islandwide, and authorities plan to increase this to 267,000 by 2020.