Partnering Bike rental companies in War Against Diabetes and MRT train breakdowns.
Tax bike rental companies $30/bike/annum to operate due to the fact that they incur public infrastructure costs for provision of dockless public rental bike parking bays and more frequently require PUB and police assistance etc for theft, flooding etc when the public, annoyed by them cause obstruction by dumping them in canals resulting in PUB anti-flood operations and canal maintenance costs.
The notional licensing fee of $30/bike/annum would make rental companies more alert to providing good service since there would be per bike bottom line costs to operate unlike current uncompetitive market whereby obike charges $2/hour whilst ofo usual charge is $0.50/ride. Obike also demands $49deposit whilst ofo requires none: the disparate charges may cause some citizens to accuse obike of overcharging and even act out dysfunctionally by dumping obikes in canals and give PUB additional headache by causing flooding due to canal/drain waterflow obstruction : obike is unlikely to compensate for the subsequent flood nor retrieve a salt water damaged/corroded bike unfit for use resulting in PUB having to foot increased garbage disposal costs even for the dockless bike itself. The intent of the dockless rental bike license fee is thus to keep bike rental quality standards up, prices competitive and to maintain the public perception that rental bikes are indeed a genuine public good. Many would not hesitate to have bike abusers punished and also report damaged / illegally parked bikes promptly resulting in better user experience and public acceptance of dockless public rental bikes as part of a cosmopolitan city scape.
The $30/bike p.a.licensing fees should be 100% recirculated back to Singapore citizens and PR vz a 10hours/ $10/month voucher (whichever higher) for use by every bike rental company (or an amt proportional to bike license fees paid by each company) for free use of bikes by citizens who will also NOT have to pay the $49 bike deposit (obike, Mobike) provided they register vz identity card number as verified by Singpass account 2 step authentication vz sms code to registered phone number. Utilization of quota of foc use vouchers by citizens would offset the bike rental licensing fees payable by ofo, obike, Mobike etc and convince all citizens that public dockless bike rental is a public good and thus here to stay. Ultimately, some dockless public bicycle hire companies would pay zero licensing fees (having been offset by citizens utilizing their quotas) whilst others may have their business sunk by license fee costs and poor public response due to uncompetitive charges / poor quality /non-existent service provision.
LTA may also subsidise of waive all dockless bike rental each time the SMRT breaks down to alleviate public transportation woes or make bike use free during peak periods to alleviate the need for MRT use discounts to shift peak hour overcrowding issues. Early closure of MRT lines to facilitate maintenance work would also be less painful.
Not to mention the tremendous strides in the War against Diabetes as more Singaporeans adopt a physically active lifestyle, improve environmental conditions due to lesser fossil fuel use and make Singapore a truely cosmopolitan capital where being able to operate a bicycle can be the most important passport to seeing the whole of Singapore.
PS: "people who cycled to work had a 52% lower risk of dying from cardiovascular diseases, and a 40% lower risk of dying from cancer than those who drive or take public transport." http://www.ethozgroup.com/first-timers-guide-bike-sharing-singapore/
PS: the licensing fee of $30 is just a ball park figure subject to adjustment as case may be. The most important thing being the RECIRCULATION of the licensing fee 100% back to citizens to use bicycle FOC within quota limits to improve the public perception of bike rental companies and improve mass adoption of a physically active and rugged lifestyle. In this process, PUB would also improve its anti-flood performance and reduce canal cleaning costs as fewer disgruntled citizens dump dockless hire bikes into canals and drains.
PS: All dockless hire bikes should have a visible registration number and the rider particulars , geo position etc details should be traceable and retrievable by LTA in the case of dangerous or inconsiderate riding behavior.
PS: 10 foc hours/month/citizen is derived as follows:
Total dockless rental bikes in SG i estimate is 100,000. X 24hrs X 30days = 72,000,000 hrs.
Tax 20%= 14,4000,000 hrs.
Divide by 5m population = 2.88hrs.
Approx only a quarter of population at best will use service, so 10hrs is a fair estimate to begin with. So dockless bike rental companies will be able to retrieve their dockless bike licensing fees if they show that they have done their fair share in war against DIABETES if citizens on average use dockless bike rental services 2.88hrs/month vz the 10foc hours/month rental scheme.
Based on 10hrs/month @ $0.50/ride (estimated to last 1hr) ofo bike rental rate, a dockless bike licensing fee of $60/bike p.a. is fair and 100% redeemable if a bike company is able to attract citizens to utilise their bike rental quotas of up to 10 foc cycling hours/month.