Singapore

Town council: Parking racks not for use by rental bikes

As bike-sharing takes off here, one town council has taken issue with commercial two-wheelers parked at its public bicycle racks.

The East Coast-Fengshan Town Council has placed removal notices on bike-share bicycles - belonging to local firm oBike and others - parked at racks in the Bedok Town Centre.

The notice says the racks are not to be used for "rental business" and the bikes are to be removed immediately or risk being confiscated.

The Straits Times found 12 bicycles belonging to the three bike-share firms operating here - oBike, Mobike and ofo - at racks near the Bedok Interchange Hawker Centre on Tuesday.

Two of them had removal notices.

Another notice was found in the basket of a private bike.

In response to queries, the town council said it had been "monitoring the situation" since last Thursday.

"These bicycle parking racks are constructed to prevent indiscriminate parking of bicycles at our common areas and are not for commercial activity," said a spokesman, adding that oBike had not informed it of plans to use the space. She said that it had contacted oBike to remove the bicycles but had yet to receive a response.

ST understands that Mobike and ofo were not contacted by the town council.

When contacted, oBike general manager Elgin Ee said he was aware of the removal request by the town council.

He said the firm was "working closely" with town councils to ensure its bicycles do not become a nuisance.

"We have a team of people going around to remove improperly parked bikes," he said.

Mr Francis Chu, co-founder of cycling enthusiast group Love Cycling SG, suggested that residents could use messaging apps to inform firms about improperly parked bicycles, so they could respond more quickly.

The Land Transport Authority said it has encouraged the bike-sharing firms to remind users to avoid parking their bikes indiscriminately and it has ongoing plans to expand bike parking facilities for all cyclists.

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THE STRAITS TIMES TODAY

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