Strategic Futurists; Value Systems Specialists

Events

Fixing the O-Bike Disaster

Wednesday 27 September 2017

And trust me, it really is one. The O-Bike is another example of Theft of the Commons. And it needs to stop. Now!

I'll start by saying we need a whole lot more cycling infrastructure than what we have now* for safety, environmental and traffic flow reasons.

Additionally what we need WAY LESS OF is 'Theft of the Commons'. I describe Theft of the Commons as any action in which the commons (freely available collectively held ownership and access of natural resources) is diminished and harmed. So conglomerates that suck fresh drinking water away from the commons to sell at a profit is a form of theft. Entities that dispose of their waste streams at no cost thus that the commons is damaged is a form of Theft of the Commons. You get the idea.

And here's a paradox in my mind. You'd think that as someone who believes we need more cycling infrastructure would be a fan of the recently arrived to Australia's shores, 'O-Bike' concept.

But I'm not. Not at all. For me, the O-Bike is a form of Theft of the Commons. It takes up space, creates clutter and provides amost no value in return for an attempt to extract profit. Bikes are parked in ways the hinder pedestrians, create visual clutter near park benches, end up in rivers or protrude into spaces they ought not be. The O-Bike represents everything that is wrong with an App happy world. So, how to fix it?

Simply, the same laws that apply to street vendors selling goods, or food trucks selling food, should also apply to this money targeted scheme. Councils establish a 'fee per bike' in their area. They also establish acceptable standing locations and they also act to impound any bicycle not left in that area. Like they do with Supermarket trolleys. Local Councils can earn a fee from the 'sharing scheme' (it's not a sharing scheme it is an 'access scheme') and O-Bike will pass the cost on to users. If the users are unwilling to accept increased cost of usage, the scheme will disappear. If users don't mind, it's a win win win for the entities. It would be a huge win for the Commons

*I once stood as a 3rd on the ticket candidate for The Australian Cyclists Party at an election


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