Weigh the pros and cons of new things
URBAN PATROL OFFICERS IN NANCHANG, East China’s Jiangxi province, have impounded a total of 26,000 short-time hire bikes illegally parked on the city’s streets. Beijing Youth Daily commented on Monday:
The provincial capital’s tough response to the illegally parked bikes has reignited the debate over how to manage the station-less, GPS-enabled hire bikes that have become a common sight in Chinese cities. Some argue that the authorities should adopt an open attitude toward the bikes as they are part of the sharing economy, and the Nanchang urban patrol officers risk a serious waste of resources by withholding that many bikes. Others argue the bikes are a nuisance and are just a new business model for hiring bikes rather than part of a sharing economy.
While the authorities should keep an open mind to new things, they should not turn a blind eye to their downsides either.
Hailed as a near-perfect solution to the last-mile dilemma facing urban commuters, the influx of short-time hire bikes has not only resulted in them being chaotically parked but also caused safety risks in many cities.
It will be just a matter of time before they take over the sidewalks if local governments do not intervene. Neither the bike-providers nor their enthusiastic investors have solved the parking problem. They need to cooperate with the local authorities and abide by the new regulations that have been introduced.
On their part, the authorities should implement the rules flexibly and proactively. The traffic police in Shenzhen have set a good example by temporarily banning 13,615 people who violated traffic regulations from using shared bikes. The police have already notified the bike-renting companies to deactivate the user accounts of these users for at least a week.
Financial Stability and Development Committee under the State Council