TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- Effective August 1, eight districts in Taipei will prohibit bicycles from being parked in paid parking lots for scooters, and violators will eventually be charged a towing fee.
Taipei City parking Management Project Manager Chen Kuan-lung (陳冠龍) said the following eight districts will ban bicycles from being parked in paid scooter parking areas: Xinyi Business District, Nanyang Special District, Neihu Technolgy Park, Taipei Main Station, Shilin Night Market, Ximen Business District, Guang Hua Business District, and Muzha Taipei Zoo.
Chen said in the past two months there have been a growing number of complaints by the public about bicycles taking up parking spots in paid scooter lots, with an average of 10 such reports per day. It was because the available spots in scooter parking lots in these eight areas are particularly scarce that they were selected for the August 1 ban, said Chen.
This spike in complaints is likely due to the massive influx of the new "dockless" oBikes, a system which allows riders to leave the bike anywhere they want. The Singapore based oBike sharing system spread like wildfire in Taiwan ever since its inception in April this year. Unlike the traditional Taiwanese YouBike, which needs to be docked at specific locations, oBike gives its rider the freedom to park the bike anywhere in the city.
These eight districts have 10,000 bicycle parking spaces, said Chen, exhorting cyclists to use the allotted bike spots. However, if cyclists continue to park in paid scooter parking, the city will have to use its authority to move the obstructing bikes to tow yards, and starting on New Year's Day, owners will have to pay a fee to retrieve them, said Chen.
Taipei City Parking Management Director Cheng Li-shu (鄭麗淑) said as long as the new regulation only applies to paid scooter parking lots, it should not have a detrimental effect on available parking spaces for bicycles because out of a total of 200,000 scooter parking spots, there are only 10,000 paid slots.
Cheng said the new regulation was devised to increase the turnover rate in the paid scooter lots and therefore hopefully make it easier for scooter drivers to find a spot.