How To Save Shenzhen from the Dangers of App-Based Bikes
The following article was written and shared by a ShekouDaily reader who has requested to remain unnamed. Like many others, he sees the benefits of the app-based bikes that have flooded this and many other cities around the country, but has grown increasingly frustrated by the damage they are doing to the community. He outlines the issues they are causing and presents solutions that could help realize their true potential.
DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in this article are soley those of the original author. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of ShekouDaily, its staff, and/or any/all other contributors.
App share bicycles, as they are presently being implemented, are a waste of materials and a public nuisance that impact everyone's lives in the areas they are being used. I do actually believe the business model could be a plus to society in many different ways; however, the way they are being implemented is not working.
A few simple changes in the implementation of how the app bikes are used could see the realisation of the potential benefits the app bikes present.
Living here in Shenzhen, one of the first cities to roll out these app-based rental bikes, I see many benefits. First, people can be more active and still arrive where they need to be. This results in better health for society. Second, the environmental impact for people to get where they need to be, or want to be, can result in less reliance on fossil fuels and electricity. Third, people can spend more time with family and friends enjoying some communal times together without involving mobile phones or other devices. This will add to quality of life.
As the app bikes are presently being implemented; however, little of the above is being realized. A few simple changes in the implementation of how the app bikes are used could see the realisation of the potential benefits the app bikes present.
1. All bikes should only be allowed to work in the area they are licensed for. Example- one company is allowed to have bikes in a zone. The zone is 5 kilometers square. If the bike tries to leave the zone, the bike will alarm, brake and lock to prevent the bike to leave the zone designated for that bike. This will need to be worked out but I think you can understand the principal. So if a person wanted to go from Futian to Shekou by app bike, they would have to change bikes at the boundaries of two zones to continue the journey.
2. Only allow so many bikes in a zone. The quantity can be adjusted to allow more or fewer bikes in a zone based on usage data collected over time by the app bike companies. Zones can be adjusted to allow for equality in revenue based on usage.
3. Training by the app bike companies, for people who pay a deposit to use the bikes, should be a requirement for the bike companies. This will be an attempt to get people to use the bikes correctly and safely. Presently many people are injured due to lack of understanding of the proper use of the app bikes and the responsibility of following the traffic rules and the potential consequences of improper use of the app bikes.
Presently, people who own their own bikes are being penalized from being able to enjoy the bike trail along Shenzhen Bay and other areas due to poor implementation of the app bikes' usage.
4. Weekends are the only time some people can enjoy the pleasure of a bike ride. Presently, people who own their own bikes are being penalized from being able to enjoy the bike trail along Shenzhen Bay and other areas due to poor implementation of the app bikes' usage. Before the introduction of the app bikes, people with their own personal bikes could enjoy the bike trail along Shenzhen Bay on the weekends. Other people without bikes could also enjoy the bike trail by renting bikes from the bike vendors licensed by the park commission to operate and rent a controlled number of bikes in the parks. Some new areas that were designed to be able to be used for bike riding are blocked due to the bad implementation of the app bikes' usage. This is a waste of money and resources and is a tragic loss for the community.
View from Shenzhen's Western Binhai Promenade
By giving some thought to the potential benefits the app bikes usage can provide and with corrections to how the app bikes are deployed around the city, solutions can be found and adjustments made so that the citizenry of Shenzhen can realize the benefits of the app bikes' usage without the present safety issues and disruptions to the daily lives of the Shenzhen people. If properly implemented, the park commission could lower costs of the manpower needed trying to control the app bikes, especially on weekends and revenue from the park bicycle vendors would increase for the park commission.