Why can’t we have nice things?
Because once we have these things, we simply do our best to destroy them.
Two oBikes, found in Whampoa river on May 27th. An ofo bike, thrown down a HDB block at Jalan Tenteram by a 14 year old, all filmed nicely and even posted online on June 15th. Bicycles from all three bike-sharing companies that have just started gaining momentum have suffered from reports of being found stuck between staircase bannisters in HDBs, canals, even in the middle of Shenton Way. You name it, you’ve got it.
These bike-sharing companies started with a respectable aim: to allow people to rent bicycles easily. The bicyles could be parked at any designated location, ready for the next person to pick up and start their journey. All you had to do to rent one was to download the app and set up your account, scan your desired bike, and you’re ready to go. It encouraged people to consider cycling as an alternative to taking the bus or taxi home, thereby allowing them to exercise at the same time. The easy accessibility to the bicycles also meant an increase in cycling as a leisure activity and facilitated bonding between family and friends. It was a step towards a car-lite, more eco-friendly community. A well-respected cycling culture where everyone shared.
But instead of the desired clean and green outcome, a popular sight these days depict oBikes strewn all over bus stops, along the road, anywhere that has an empty space. oBike, Ofo and Mobike have all deployed tactics to incentivise good behaviour and discredit ungracious parking, but clearly, it isn’t working very well. The bikes are everywhere.
That’s not to say the problem only exists in Singapore. In China, Wukong Bike became the first to cease operations just after 5 months after losing almost 90% of their bicycles. Even in Taiwan, where YouBike thrived, oBike bicycles faced similar irresponsible parking and vandalism problems.
Is it a natural thing to abuse any advantages we have? Must we place ourselves between stringent rules and regulations in order to appreciate nice things?
I guess time will tell. The closure of these bike sharing companies would probably paint a pretty clear picture too.
It’s a pretty depressing notion.