In order to deal with a situation that has apparently snowballed out of control, the city of Wuhan in central China has banned any further deployments of bikeshare programs, according to the country’s official news service Xinhua.
Why, you ask? Because the massive number of bikes deployed to date has begun causing “chaos” and congestion, as well as accompanying safety problems.
Unsurprisingly, bikeshare programs that allow users to lock units up nearly anywhere after use have led to a situation whereby large numbers of bikes end up in strange or already vastly overcrowded areas.
Reuters provides more: “The number of shared bikes in Wuhan’s urban districts is already approaching 700,000, far exceeding the city’s ‘carrying capacity’ of 400,000, with operators such as Ofo and Mobike expanding rapidly since launching in the city at the end of last year, Xinhua said citing an official statement.”
“… But inadequate regulation has caused mayhem on China’s roads and pavements, with thousands of bikes discarded or dumped in already crowded public spaces.
“Several giant cities have already imposed curbs. The southern financial center of Shenzhen last month said it would ban new additions and ordered companies to take action to deal with misplaced, badly parked bikes throughout the city, which have become a health and safety hazard. Shenzhen police are also ordering shared bike users who violate rules to write out a 1,000-word traffic regulation by hand or pay a 2,000 yuan ($306.88) fine, the local Shenzhen Daily reported last week.”
It’s an interesting approach, and certainly a rather steep fine, especially considering that bikeshare users are mostly on the less wealthy side of things.
In addition to Shenzhen and Wuhan, the cities of Shanghai, Nanjing, Hangzhou, Fuzhou, Guangzhou, and Zhengzhou, have also banned further bikeshare deployments, according to the country’s Ministry of Transport.
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