Put your bikes away! Beijing to regulate shared bike parking

Every commuter in China is looking into adopting a cleaner commute to work. Many have turned to bike-sharing companies like ofo or Mobike for commuting alternatives.

However, the lack of systematic bike parking is a downside, and has been causing travel chaos. Last week in Beijing, piles of bikes from ofo, Mobike, Bluegogo, and other bike-sharing companies jammed a busy coach station near Bawangfen in the East of Beijing, blocking roads and sidewalks.

In response to the deteriorating traffic problem caused by the shared bikes, the Beijing Municipal Commission of Transport announced that there would be new regulations regarding random bike parking. The city urged the riders to park accordingly in the designated areas for regular bikes, and said that the companies have to take actions to push riders to park in a more orderly manner.

Although specific regulations are yet to be announced, companies in violation of any new rules might be fined and riders might face losses in their financial credit rating or have to pay a modest fine, Beijing Business Today quoted an expert as saying.

In fact, the city already released some parking rules earlier this month after talking to ofo and Mobike, where 10 specific streets in Xicheng District, near Tiananmen Square, were declared as no-go zones for shared bikes. The two companies also promised to promote proper parking areas to users in the apps and via WeChat.

With the heated competition of the bike-sharing business getting fierce, ofo and Mobike are both gearing up to further prevent users from random bike parking. Mobike will install a smart parking system that can monitor whether the riders are parking the bikes in the designated parking bays. Those who fail to do so will have their points deducted in their system.

Ofo, the major rival of Mobike, has joined hands with Sesame Credit, a social credit rating system operated by Ant Financial. Under the strategic deal, ofo users whose Sesame Credit score is over 650 or higher can rent a bike deposit-free. This move is designed to attract more users and to standardize the bike parking process using a credit rating system.

Joining the heated bike-sharing chase, Beijing-based startup Bluegogo last week launched geared bikes, and announced deposit waivers for riders whose Sesame Credit score is over 700.

Hopefully with the enforcement of the Beijing’s new regulations, we can soon enjoy a cleaner and more comfortable commute.

(Top photo from tieba.baidu.com)

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