Taipei to draft bike-parking regulations: Ko

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

Wed, Jul 12, 2017 - Page 1

The Taipei City Government is considering drafting bicycle parking regulations to manage bicycle-sharing systems, Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) said yesterday.

The Singapore-based oBike bicycle-sharing and rental system was launched in Taiwan in April and rapidly expanded to about 10 cities across the nation, with the company saying that it has more than 500,000 users.

The oBike system has a “rent anywhere, return anywhere” policy that allows users to leave the bicycles anywhere they want, while government-backed bicycle-sharing services, such as YouBike, have fixed docking stations.

However, city councilors and borough wardens said they have received many complaints about oBikes parked inconveniently or occupying private bicycle and motorcycle parking spaces.

The New Taipei City Government has banned oBike parking in public parking spaces in 11 densely populated districts and has towed more than 1,000 oBikes.

“This is a common problem whereby the law is unable to keep up with technology, but the ‘sharing economy’ is a global trend that might be hard to block, so it needs to be managed, not banned,” Ko said.

There are about 36,000 bicycle parking blocks or racks in Taipei, and more if bicycle and motorcycle parking spaces are included, Ko said.

“If an oBike is parked in a legal bicycle and motorcycle parking space, it will not be towed,” Ko said, adding that if an oBike is parked where bicycle parking is banned, it will be towed.

“We should have thought about the problem before it occurred, but often we are forced to hurry and deal with a problem after it arises,” Ko said. “However, we encourage people to take public transportation. Whether it is an oBike or a YouBike, we want them managed, so we will draft comprehensive regulations.”