December 12, 2017

Singapore figures out the solution to rampant dockless bikes is to make them park in a set spot

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BY VICTORIA HO From Business Insider

Ah, the freedom of a dockless bike. So much more convenient than something like , where you have to park your rental bike back at a set location.

See, the whole point of bike rentals from the likes Ofo, Mobike, oBike (and so on) is that you can pick a bike, ride it, leave it by the side of the road when you’re done, and walk away.

Too bad humans had to ruin it.

The city of has decided that enough is enough with all the bike dumping and irresponsible behaviour that’s come along with the recent trend in dockless bike services

By the end of the year, all the five rental services here will have to put in geo-fencing technology in their bikes, to ensure that people park their bikes back at “designated parking zones” — basically, a virtual dock.

Additionally, the five operators will have to remove faulty bicycles within a day, and ensure that users are covered by public liability insurance.

In the past, finding those faulty bikes would’ve proven challenging, since people were leaving them under bridges, up in trees, rivers, and even concealing them down dark stairwells in buildings. The new parking rules will help operators find more bikes.

Hopefully, having to put your bike back in a public place will also put an end to the rampant vandalism that has plagued these services. In nearly every country that these bikes have launched in, we’ve seen bikes stripped for parts, painted to be concealed (and therefore stolen for an individual’s own use), and so on.

Mobike’s country manager in Singapore, , said in a statement after the new rules were signed on Thursday, that the company has already drawn out parking zones in several neighbourhoods in Singapore.

The new geo-fence will kick in in November for its bikes, which are already GPS-enabled, she added.

An Ofo spokesperson said the Ofo app will notify users

For users who are making use of the ofo app, they would have to park and end their trips within the designated parking zones as reflected within their app. If they fail to do so, the app will notify them to remind them to park in a responsible manner. Exact details on penalties will be provided nearer to the end of the year.

While the new rules mean we’ll continue to see these rental bikes on the roads for now, the virtual dock is a far cry from the initial sales pitch of having a “smarter” and freer bike system. For which we can only blame ourselves.

: Oct. 5, 2017, 6:09 p.m. UTC Updated with a response from Ofo.

For more on this story go to: http://mashable.com/2017/10/05/singapore-designated-parking-obike-mobike/?utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Mashable+%28Mashable%29&utm_cid=Mash-Prod-RSS-Feedburner-All-Partial&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed#k8uBFFZ4pOqZ

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