Regulations on oBike to be introduced soon: Taipei City Government

Occupying scooter parking or random public space has led the brand to controversies.

oBikes in public bike parking (Source: CNA)

oBikes in public bike parking (Source: CNA)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The capital is drafting a proposal for regulating bike-renting systems to be submitted to the city council for reviews by the end of the year and implemented as soon as next year, said the Department of Transportation of Taipei City Government.

The proposal came after recent complaints were made against oBike, the Singaporean dockless bike-renting platform ushered into Taiwan this April. The system has now expanded to 10 cities and counties across Taiwan.

oBike offers an alternative to the public bike-renting systems managed by local governments, such as YouBike in the Taipei metropolitan area, but the behavior of some riders has led the brand to controversies, such as occupying parking spaces for scooters, or leaving the bike in random public space or no-parking areas.

Wang Yen-chu (王湮筑), head of transportation management at DOT, said that for the moment, there is no policy regulating bike-renting systems, and that leaving the bike in scooter parking is actually legal.

The new proposal will aim at imposing fares on the providers of private bike-renting systems for profiting from services and occupying public space, said Wang.

“The city government has negotiated with oBike. The company agreed that if their bikes are reported by citizens for parking in the wrong places, they will remove the bikes in one hour,” said Wang.

Unlike Taipei City, the New Taipei City government has a stricter rule. It announced on July 7 that it will ban oBike from parking in scooter parking spaces in 11 densely populated areas, and at bike parking lots near MRT and train stations.

Violations will be fined and the bikes towed, said the government.