Date
20 October 2017
The Lands Department cleared away 29 illegally parked bikes in Tin Shui Wai, including 23 from bike-sharing app GoBee.Bike. Photo: GoBee.Bike
The Lands Department cleared away 29 illegally parked bikes in Tin Shui Wai, including 23 from bike-sharing app GoBee.Bike. Photo: GoBee.Bike

GoBee bikes seized in crackdown on illegal parking

The Lands Departments is cracking down on illegally parked bicycles.

On Thursday, it cleared away 29 such bicycles in Tin Shui Wai, including 23 from bike-sharing app GoBee.Bike, Apple Daily reports.

The Lands Department posted warning notices on the bikes, stating that it would take action if the bikes were not removed by Sept. 28.

Officers from the Lands Department joined their counterparts from the Environmental Hygiene Department, Home Affairs Department, police and the District Council in clearing the bicycles.

The 29 bikes were confiscated for illegal parking in Tin Lung Road, Tin Kwai Road and Tin Shui Road

Yuen Long district councilor Lee Yuet-man said the area is an illegal parking black spot where bikes have taken up 80 percent of the pedestrian walkway, affecting residents and even childcare centers.

However, he said the government has not provided enough guidelines for bike-sharing services to park their bikes, nor have the bike-sharing firms thought of how to resolve the problem of illegal parking.

Raphael Cohen, founder of GoBee.Bike, said his company has been in touch with the government to try to improve its services and ensure that its operation is legal.

He said that as the first bike-sharing platform in Hong Kong, GoBee.Bike has tried its best to ensure that the bikes are parked properly. This includes patrolling bike stations and monitoring the bikes to ensure they are upright and not illegally parked.

The company also provides guidelines to remind users how to park the bicycles properly.

If a bike has been idle for more than two days, the company takes the bike back from its position shown on a GPS device.

A spokesperson for the Lands Department said the government is concerned about illegal parking by bicycles.

From April to June this year, it undertook 139 joint operations and confiscated 3,002 illegally parked bikes.

GoBee.Bike launched a trial service in Hong Kong in April with 1,000 bikes in areas such as Shatin and Ma On Shan.

Users only have to download the application and pay a HK$399 deposit to use the bikes. The charge is HK$5 per 30 minutes.

The service has more than 15,000 members and has expanded to Tsuen Wan, Tseung Kwan O, Yuen Long and Tuen Mun.

Legislator Christine Fong Kwok-shan urged the government to set up a specific area for parking these bikes near MTR stations, promenades and government facilities.

A spokesperson for the Transport Department said there have been 50 complaints regarding the bike-sharing system.

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EL/BN/RA

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