Sunday, 28 January 2018

How to solve the bike sharing mess

One foreigner (Bulgarian) was civic minded enough to try to to solve the problem of the bike sharing mess.

Bulgarian living here rounds up Singapore’s damaged rental bikes 
... Mr Girginov’s Volunteer Bike Patrol initiative has taken off, collecting over 400 damaged bikes in about seven trips.
The group gathers the broken bicycles in one neighbourhood, moving them to a central location. Mr Girginov then rents a lorry for S$200 a trip to pick up and carry the bikes back.
Mr Girginov has funded the effort until now, but expansion might prompt him to consider crowd-funding or seek sponsors, he said.
But this inherently strikes us as unfair. Why is a profit-making business depending on civic-minded volunteers to clean up their mess?

So here's another solution in a comment on FaceBook:
Crowdsource the solution. 
Let anyone/authorised persons scan abandoned bikes. The first scan is to inform the bike owner that that particular bike has been "abandoned" for some time, and what is the problem with it - pedals missing, seat torn or missing, tyre dislocated from the rim, etc. The "finder" must provide this information. Or if the bike is fine, but just abandoned, put that down. 
After the first scan, the bike owners have 48 hours to recover the bikes.

After 48 hours, if the finder still sees the bike abandoned there, he can scan the bike a 2nd time. This is to inform the bike owner that the finder has "salvaged" the bike. The finder can dispose of the bike with any scrap dealer/an authorised scrap dealer. The scrap dealer will pay the finder a portion of the scrap value of the bike and send the other portion to the bike owner.

All the uncles and aunties collecting cans and cardboard can now collect abandoned bikes. Probably pays better. 
Q: What if someone else has already scanned and reported the bike as abandoned? 
A: The second finder will be informed that the bike has already been reported abandoned, and the time for the owner to recover the bike will expire in X hours. However, he can only "salvage" the the bike X+24 hours later to allow the first finder 24 hours to salvage the bike.
That would be fairer.

Scanning the bike's QR code would provide the ID of the bike and the location. Reporting the bike as abandoned, should be geo-tagged to that location or about 100 m of it. So if the bike is subsequently used and abandoned somewhere else, it would be a new incident of abandonment.

What I like is that this allows our "recycling battalion" of elderly can and cardboard collectors a new source of income.

Related image
Bike parking lots are not the solution, How to park the 21st bike in a (geo-fenced) space for 20 bikes?


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