The Land Transport Authority (LTA) is proposing legislative amendments that target both bicycle sharing operators (BSO) and users in a bid to stop the indiscriminate parking of shared bicycles, said Senior Minister of State for Transport Lam Pin Min in Parliament on Monday (5 February).
“As part of the proposed licensing framework, BSOs will be required to remove indiscriminately parked bicycles from public land within a stipulated time period. BSOs will also be required to adopt schemes that will disincentivise users from indiscriminate parking,” said Lam, who was responding to parliamentary questions about the indiscriminate parking of shared bicycles and what was being done about it.
More details of the licensing framework will be announced when ready, he added.
Lam noted that, as of 21 Jan 2018, LTA has issued more than 2,100 removal notices and collected about $180,000 in fines and administrative fees from BSOs since enforcement commenced in May last year.
Currently, BSOs who fail to retrieve indiscriminately parked bicycles within a four-hour window are fined $100 for the first offence, $200 for the second and $500 for subsequent offences.
In response to Mountbatten MP Lim Biow Chuan’s question as to why fines are meted out to BSOs rather than individual users who contribute to the “eyesore” of indiscriminately parked bicycles, Lam cited the Street Works Act.
Under this law, users who indiscriminately park their bikes in public spaces and cause obstruction and inconvenience can be fined up to $2,000. “[However, it is] difficult to catch users in the act of parking bicycles indiscriminately…. we do not have users who have been caught so far.”
In October 2017, LTA, NParks and Town Councils signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with BSOs that set out guidelines on the responsible operation of bicycle sharing services in public space. With about 174,000 bicycle parking lots currently available, there are also plans to add another 50,000 by 2020.
Lam concluded by saying that while it has its share of inconveniences, the many advantages of bike-sharing schemes mean that Singaporeans should give them a chance to evolve into a safe and convenient mode of transport in our daily lives,