A new licensing regime for bicycle sharing operators will now allow the Land Transport Authority (LTA) to set a maximum fleet size for each operator and impose standards and conditions on them, in a bid to address indiscriminate parking of shared bicycles.
Under the Parking Places (Amendment) Bill, which was introduced in Parliament on Monday (5 March), LTA will also implement a QR code-enabled geo-fencing solution in the second half of 2018. Operators will require their users to scan the unique QR code at the parking location as proof of proper parking, before they can end their trip.
Operators may also be required to continuously charge users who do not park properly. “To ensure that users park responsibly, LTA will have the power to direct all operators to collectively ban, for a limited period, users who repeatedly indiscriminately park devices. This will ensure that recalcitrant users will not be able to use any device-sharing services,” said LTA in a statement on Monday.
LTA aims to start accepting applications for bicycle-sharing licences by mid-2018, and award the licences in the fourth quarter. Unlicensed operators will be liable to a fine of up to $10,000 or jail term of up to six months, or both.
Operators that do not comply with LTA’s standards and conditions will face regulatory sanctions such as financial penalties of up to $100,000, reductions in fleet size, suspension or even cancellation of their licences.
These penalties will be higher than the current $500 fine that LTA imposes on operators for each indiscriminately parked bicycle not removed within the stipulated grace period.