News of bike-sharing bicycles being abused have been coming in fast and furious. In fact, even if you don’t read the news, you’ll have seen those yellow or orange bicycles being “abused” on the streets as they’re parked in places they shouldn’t be at.
Bike-sharing firms in Singapore have been relatively tight-lipped about these abuses, and no concrete numbers pertaining to the abuse have been released. The closest we know is that for ofo, fewer than 1% of its few thousand bikes are abused.
Just so you know, 1% of 5,000 is 50.
Of the three bicycle-sharing companies in Singapore, two are from China, namely ofo and Mobike. The remaining one, Obike, is founded in Singapore, and has entered the Australia market.
It’s a big market indeed, and it’s not exactly something new: before the use of technology, there was a system in which people used a coin to activate the bicycles, kind of like how payphones used to work. But then again, without the Internet then, we all didn’t know that someone had tossed a bicycle down 30 storeys or down a canal.
Just yesterday, it’s reported that in China, a bicycle-sharing firm is closing down, and the numbers are, well, shocking.
Known as Wukong Bike, the firm is based in the city Chongqing. They started operations early this year (which, coincidentally, is the period when bike-sharing in Singapore took place), and this month, they’re going to shut down.
The firm has 1,200 bicycles, and here’s the kicker: five months into the streets, and 90% of them were missing.
Over in China, the growth of bicycle-sharing is like the growth of Facebook or Instagram: in a year, there’re more than 20 of these firms in China, with Mobike (yeah, the one that’s in Singapore, too) just getting a $600 million investment. It has already been backed by a $1 billion investment.
Wukong Bikes, however, aren’t exactly very high-tech: in order to save cost, the bicycles didn’t come from “quality” suppliers, and most importantly, the bicycles weren’t tagged with GPS.
Another reason for its demise is the geographical challenge in the city, as the area is built on hills so cycling isn’t the most feasible transport. Just think of cycling up and down Mount Faber every day and you get the idea.
Now, here’s something for us to think about: this is the first firm to close down after the bicycle-sharing industry bloomed. When there’s a first, there’s always a second, and third…
Who’s going to fall (30 storeys down) next?
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This article was first published on goodyfeed.com
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