These bikes are essentially treated like litter by the people using them, causing big problems.
On paper, it’s hard to object to the concept of biek-sharing programs in big cities. It creates a zero-emission, convenient mode of transport for all citizens at a low cost to the state. But as you’ll see, never underestimate the ability of people to turn something that’s nice on paper into a total trainwreck in practice.
In Shenzen, China, a bike-sharing program has been implemented that’s similar to ones such as CitiBikes in New York, but with one crucial difference – the bikes don’t need to be returned to locked “parking” stations like they do in NYC. Proper protocol is to simply set them by the curbside, but nothing is done to enforce that practice. Hopes have been high that this option would serve to significantly reduce the air pollution prevalent in Chinese cities.
The bikes, which are distributed free of cost by manufacturers looking to promote their brands and do some social good, get the same treatment as cigarette butts or chewing gum that’s lost its flavor.
Since the bike-sharing users aren’t taking the duty upon themselves, it’s fallen to the police to remove them from sidewalks, where they block pedestrians, or from street corners, where they can block bike, emergency, and even traffic lanes.
Well, I supppose it could be worse…
Actually, no it, couldn’t. This is the most damage human nature could do with something as innocuous as a shared bike program.