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Not a given that bicycle-sharing will succeed in Singapore

With their convenience and low charges, dockless shared bicycles can become an integral part of Singapore's transport eco-system.

All one has to do is use an app to lock and unlock the bicycles, which can be collected from or returned at any bike rack or parking lot.

These two-wheelers can be effective in solving the first- and last-mile commute between home and transport nodes, giving another push towards a car-lite society.

But this potential can be blunted by abuse and vandalism.

Recently, reports on social media showed the bicycles chained up outside homes and dumped at locations such as canals.

One was even repainted in an apparent bid to appropriate the bike.

Thankfully, these misdemeanours are in the minority, according to bike-sharing start-ups.

Nevertheless, the success of bike-sharing relies heavily on bicycles being available and reliable.

For commuters to do without their cars, they need to know they can find a bicycle - one which works and is available for rent - that can take them to the train station, for example.

While dockless shared bicycles debuted here only in January, they have been around in cities such as Beijing for two years. But it has been a bumpy experience for users.

In a poll by China's Youth China Daily newspaper, published earlier this month, more than half (50.5 per cent) of the 2,000 respondents said damaged bicycles resulted in their commutes being inconvenienced.

Will this be the experience for Singaporeans as well?

Hopefully not.

Dockless bicycle-sharing is still in its early days here, and there is still a question mark over whether it can contribute towards a car-lite Singapore.

BIKE-SHARINGChinasocial media