The Parking Places (Amendment) Bill (“the Bill”) was introduced in Parliament today. The key amendments proposed in the Bill will allow the Land Transport Authority (LTA) to:
- Implement a licensing regime on dockless bicycle-sharing operators to address the problem of indiscriminate parking of shared bicycles; and
- Better manage provision of parking by private developments to support our car-lite vision.
Licensing regime to address indiscriminate parking of shared bicycles
2. Dockless bicycle-sharing has become increasingly popular in Singapore, providing a convenient and healthier alternative for first-and-last mile journeys. However, the indiscriminate parking of shared bicycles has caused significant social disamenities, despite LTA’s efforts to increase parking infrastructure and encourage bicycle-sharing operators to operate responsibly. To address this, the Ministry of Transport (MOT) is proposing amendments to the Parking Places Act (PPA) to introduce a licensing regime for operators that provide for dockless sharing of active mobility devices (i.e. bicycles, personal mobility devices (PMDs) and power-assisted bicycles (PABs)) in public places.
Managing the size of each operator’s fleet
3. The licensing regime will allow LTA to manage the size of each operator’s fleet by setting a maximum fleet size for each operator. LTA will regularly review fleet sizes and allow operators who are able to manage indiscriminate parking and show good utilisation of their fleets to grow over time, taking into account other relevant factors such as user demand and availability of parking spaces.
Stronger regulatory levers to require operators to manage indiscriminate parking
4. LTA will be able to impose standards and conditions on operators, such as requiring them to remove indiscriminately parked devices in a timely manner. In particular, LTA will implement a QR code-enabled geo-fencing solution in the second half of 2018. Operators will require their users to scan the unique QR code at the parking location as proof of proper parking, before they can end their trip. Operators may also be required to continuously charge users who do not park properly.
5. Operators that do not comply with LTA’s standards and conditions will face regulatory sanctions such as financial penalties of up to $100,000, reductions in fleet size, suspension or even cancellation of their licences. These penalties will be higher than the current $500 fine that LTA imposes on operators for each indiscriminately parked bicycle not removed within the stipulated grace period.
Ensuring responsible user behaviour
6. To ensure that users park responsibly, LTA will have the power to direct all operators to collectively ban, for a limited period, users who repeatedly indiscriminately park devices. This will ensure that recalcitrant users will not be able to use any device-sharing services.
7. LTA aims to start accepting applications for bicycle-sharing licences by mid-2018, and award the licences in 4Q2018. Unlicensed operators will be liable to a fine of up to $10,000 or jail term of up to six months, or both.
Managing provision of parking by private developments
8. The Bill also amends the PPA to give LTA the powers to better calibrate the parking provisions in private developments to support a car-lite Singapore. This will allow us to maximise the use of our limited land, and free up car park space for other uses.
a. Today, LTA specifies the minimum number of parking lots that private developments must provide. The proposed amendments will allow LTA to specify a range of parking lots, defined by a lower and/or upper bound that private developments will be allowed to provide.
b. LTA will also be able to administratively specify parking provision requirements for private developments within future “car-lite precincts”, which will be planned with additional public transport connectivity and alternative travel options such as walking and cycling. This will also allow developers to trial new concepts of space and land planning and new parking concepts such as hub car parks.