To encourage more people to take up cycling, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) announced yesterday that it has put up more bicycle parking zones around Singapore for both bicycle owners and users of rental bicycles.
These bicycle parking zones - located at Punggol, Hougang, Paya Lebar, Khatib, Sembawang, Pioneer, and Lakeside - will provide about 750 additional parking spaces.
LTA now has more than 16,000 bike parking spaces across the island, and plans to install 1,900 additional bicycle racks by 2018.
These racks can be used by members of the public as well as users of bicycle-sharing companies.
LTA is working with dockless bicycle-sharing operators, such as China-based Mobike and local venture oBike, to incentivise their users to park responsibly.
It said in a Facebook post: "We would like to remind all cyclists that strict enforcement action will be taken against all indiscriminately-parked bicycles."
LTA said in a news release that the enforcement action includes "impounding of the bicycles and heavy fines... and if necessary, regulatory action as well".
These actions also apply to dockless bicycle-sharing system operators.
General manager of oBike Elgin Ee told The New Paper that they are supportive of LTA's initiative. He said: "We're glad we're moving in the same direction as the LTA and their 'Walk, Cycle, Ride' scheme.
"(Having more bicycle parking zones) will benefit more people and also prevent overcrowding of bicycles."
A Mobike spokesman said more "smartly-implemented" bike parking spaces are a "highly cost-effect way to support the growth of cycling in Singapore".
The use of public bicycle racks by bicycle-sharing companies has stirred up some controversy, with the East Coast-Fengshan Town Council saying in a Straits Times report on March 18 that public racks around the Bedok Town Centre, which belong to the town council, are not to be used for "rental business".
The town council had placed removal notices on bike-share bicycles parked at racks around the town centre and asked oBike to remove its bicycles from the racks. oBike has since removed them.
In response to TNP's queries, a spokesman for the town council said they have received feedback from residents on indiscriminate parking at common areas.
"(Indiscriminately-parked bicycles) are inconveniencing residents and obstructing critical fire access points and our daily refuse collection routes.
"We would like to seek residents' co-operation to park their own or rental bicycles properly at the designated bicycle parking racks."
The spokesman added that the town council is currently monitoring the situation and is trying to engage the bike-sharing companies and the LTA to "work out a viable solution to resolve social issues created by such schemes".
This article was first published on Mar 29, 2017.
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