The road to hell is cycled down with good intentions

“All I heard was the sweet sound of cash.”

Chinese bike share graveyard a monument to industry’s ‘arrogance’ is an article from the Guardian about the latest plague affecting contemporary China – bike sharing schemes.

Outwardly, bike sharing seems like a good idea, but I must admit I don’t know what the original intention was. Was it to entice motorists out of their cars? (Good luck with that one.) Was it to encourage people to look at alternatives to public transport? Instead of waiting for the bus, they could jump on a bike and go. Or was it another get-rich-quick scheme, thinly disguised with a green veneer?

In truth, these things are a bloody nuisance. I guess that the bike companies have to get permission from the local council before they dump another load of their bikes around the city, but they take up parking space that the rest of use would like to use. At least they tend to be parking neatly and tidily.

After that, they tend to get parked wherever the rider likes, which often means that their are bikes in the least convenient places imaginable. For example, outside Centre 66, there’s a fence separating the cycle lane from the street in which there’s a gate just near the Blue Frog. This portal, which I often use, is typically blocked in part by hire bikes which have been left sitting there in a haphazard fashion.

The whole business is another instance of the infantile running-at-buses mentality in China, with no real thinking occurring at any point in the process, whether it’s the companies punting the bikes or the in­con­sider­ate users.

 

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