Total number of public bicycles tops 300,000
As of now, there are five public bicycle companies with more than 300,000 bikes operating in Xiamen.
The 4,000 existing parking spots can not hold excessive bikes since more and more public bikes have been put into use. It has seriously impacted the city’s image and 679 public bikes has been seized as of March 15th over irregular usage. Although adequate bikes provide convenience for residents, it takes up too much public resources and brings difficulties to management.
Right after OFO introduced their bikes, Mobike, Hellobike, Baibike and U-bicycle entered the market too. As a consequence, there are now a total of five total public bikes companies with four different colours: orange, yellow, white and green.
U-bycicle plans to put 10,000 bikes into use in addition to the 2,000 from their trial stage distributed at west gate of Xiamen University, Zengcuo’an, Zhen Zhu Wan and Huang Cuo, said U-Bycicle’s Xiamen executive Lin Deqin. So far, more than 300,000 public bikes are spread around Xiamen island: 180,000 OFO bikes, 60,000 Mobikes, 60,000 Hellobikes, 5,000 Baibikes and 2,000 U-Bicycles. The total number of bikes during the last three months has risen over 30 times that of last December, far more than the 135,000 in Hangzhou.
Over 300,000 public bikes have been in use in Shenzhen since this January, thus making serious traffic conditions during this Qingming Festival. Similar to this, Xiamen has also seen more bicycles in popular places such as Huandao Road where the most public bikes gather. Of some concern are the different public bikes left in a disorderly state in front of Xiamen University and Daxue Road.
In Huandao Road and Baicheng Beach, dozens of bikes are parked in one line. At Musical Square, hundreds of bikes covered the whole area in a spectacular fashion. In Lianban BRT station, the public bikes left on the surrounding pavements left no walking place for pedestrians. If 4,000 parking spots are arranged to hold 300,000 public bikes, a mass of road resources will be occupied.
The management of these bikes not only needs personnel but also enough parking sites. “Officers have become bike-keepers.” said a law-enforcement officer.
Urban management department set up a WeChat group to supervise the management of public bicycles, including related department officers, urban city management crew and several company executives. Once the disorderly parking places are noticed, the company’s bike protectors come to the spot and deal with it.
Though the supervision system works to some extent, it can not solve the problem radically. There is still a long way to go since there is an imbalance between the large quantities of bikes and the deficiencies with the companies’ management structures.
“From the point of view of resources, the number of public bikes should be controlled.” said Rao Jinxing, a deputy director who majors in modern chemical production in Jimei industrial college. Too many bikes leave a negative influence on the city: city garbage, city image and bring dangers to pedestrians.
Chen Baiyan，a member of China Democratic League, worried that this situation could get out of control without proper management.
The total number of public bikes should reach a scientific proportion, suggested Rao. When the number reaches saturation, the market is supposed to be the main decision maker, said Chu Dajian, an economics and management professor in Tongji University. In Chu’s opinion, if more bikes are put into the market without due consideration, it could make the problem more serious. Now the companies should focus on the service not the quantity, said him. “Enterprises should cooperate with government to find solutions - one to concentrate on operation while the other to properly anticipate problems and prepare strategies.”