Bike sharing companies operating in London may face big fines if a law is approved to reduce the amount of bikes being abandoned around the city. The proposed law would make companies such as Mobike and Jump responsible for having their bikes in the areas that have been reserved for them.
The move could also change things up when it comes to leaving bikes outside of designated areas. Evening Standard reports that every bike would be tracked using a device on the frame. The device would stop users from logging in to end journeys in places where they are not supposed to.
Bike sharing has taken over big cities in recent years but the service has brought some problems. One of the big problems is users leaving the bikes all around the city, instead of leaving them in an area where other users can come in and rent them.
The problem is far worse in some places, where there are reports of bikes being left in difficult to access areas. In some cases, bikes have been thrown in rivers or other areas where the company or city is forced to recover them.
In London, bike sharing is quite popular but there is a problem with bikes being left outside of designated areas. Authorities can’t do much when it comes to this problem, the only thing they are allowed to do is impound the bikes that are left in areas where it is considered a danger.
Evening Standard reports that the proposed law is going around every council in the capital for approval before it is submitted to the transport committee in October. If the law gets the green light, the city will have the option to come up with parking zones or remove parking.
The law would also apply to other sharing services such as the ones offering other methods of transportation, including electric scooters. But the law would mostly have an effect on bike sharing since it is currently one of the most popular transportation services in the city.
Cities and bike sharing services have been working on the areas that can be used to leave bikes. But the main problem is that some users continue to leave bikes outside of the designated areas.
Bike sharing companies such as Mobike have launched campaigns to encourage safe and responsible parking. One of the campaigns was held in Newcastle, where the service debuted in October 2017. But it appears that the campaigns were not enough, well at least in Newcastle.
Earlier this year, the company announced that it was suspending its service in Newcastle and Gateshead. The company did not give much details on the suspension but reports said it probably had something to do with the vandalism issues.
In September 2018, the bike sharing service decided to leave Manchester over vandalism and theft. The decision to leave came as no surprise since the company had already said weeks before that it was under consideration. With the decision, Manchester became the first city to lose the Mobike service. The service has continued operating in other UK cities.
The Visit London website reports that there are more than 750 docking stations and 11,500 bikes around the city. The services have become quite popular around the world since users can simply hire a bike using a bank card or the official app of the service.