SINGAPORE: Shared bicycle users who park their bikes indiscriminately at least three times in a year, will face a temporary ban from renting from any operator.
The rule is part of the licensing regime for dockless operators for shared bikes, personal mobility devices and power-assisted bicycles under the Parking Places (Amendment) Act, which was passed in Parliament on Tuesday (Mar 20).
Bicycle sharing operators will have their fleet sizes regulated and will also be required to manage indiscriminate parking via “industry-wide” standards of geo-fencing, as well as remove indiscriminately parked bikes "in a timely manner", said Senior Minister of State for Transport Dr Lam Pin Min in Parliament.
According to Dr Lam in his speech, there are currently more than 100,000 shared bicycles in Singapore.
Other than setting a regulatory framework for bike-sharing operators to tackle errant parking, the Act also targets users who have parked improperly.
“The majority of users are responsible and park the shared vehicles in designated parking areas,” said Dr Lam.
"However, there are irresponsible and inconsiderate users who do not do so. It is important to hold them accountable."
USER ENFORCEMENT THROUGH DATA SHARING
To track and ban recalcitrant users from renting across companies, operators will have to provide user data to the Land Transport Authority (LTA) and to fellow operators.
“This can include data on the location of each deployed vehicle so that LTA can remotely track indiscriminate parking and enforce more effectively,” said Dr Lam. “(It) also requires operators to provide information when requested by LTA for enforcement purposes.”
However, Dr Lam said that the information sharing will be “limited to the extent necessary for implementing the collective ban".
Member of Parliament Joan Pereira raised concerns about QR-code based geo-fencing and asked for more details on the technology that LTA is planning to implement.
She noted that QR codes can be “vandalised” or “tampered with” should the codes be static.
"For example, if someone takes a photo of a static QR code at a geo-tagged location, it can be re-used at a different location, thus defeating the purpose," she said.
Dr Lam said that safeguards will be put in place to "reasonably ensure that the scanning of static QR code geo-fencing cannot be gamed".
"Each parking location will have a unique QR code and users will only be allowed to end their trip if the scanned code matches the GPS location of the parked bike,” he said.
If users encounter vandalised QR codes, they can take a photo of the shared bike parked within the proper parking area and submit it within the operator’s bike-sharing app, Dr Lam added.
“LTA will also act promptly to replace QR codes which have been damaged,” assured Dr Lam.