“This is why we can’t have nice things!”

So says Singapore, so says Australia and so says many place else. Bike sharing might have brought transportation convenience. It has brought along its fair share of inconvenience.

It spreads like a virus. It spreads like a zombie apocalypse. Everywhere in the neighborhood, a pile of rubbish bike.

A pile of shared bikes near a park that is currently under renovation in my neighborhood

On the bright side, its probably not that bad in Singapore. Looking at some of the pictures running through the Internet of bike sharing woes in other parts of the world, bikes found in the drains, found in the water and some are found on top of lamp posts.

I’m not kidding. ON TOP of lamp posts!

I was just thinking, why don’t we analyse travel patterns using these bikes. It would have been an interesting exercise. After all, my understanding is many of these bikes are armed with a GPS sensor, hence, surely we have all the data there, somewhere.

  • We could see how the bikes spread and migrate from places to places.
  • We could see which routes sees high usage of bikes. Maybe we can put in a bus service or a short cut to certain routes.
  • Where does all the bikes end up after the morning, the evening and the weekend peaks? Does it mean that we have to put a bicycle parking space there?
  • And more importantly, we got to work out if it make sense for the profiting companies to pay for the bicycle parking space that the G is going to build. I’m not quite sure if it makes sense for the tax payers to pay for this.

A messy neighborhood brings unhappy citizens and crime. We haven’t gone there yet but preventive measures are always better than cure.