PM wants naysayers too; bike kiosks and GNR fans say “nay”

Feb 27, 2017 09.30AM |

PM LEE Hsien Loong has joined a handful of senior civil servants to say that he wants to work with people with whom he can have a “productive disagreement”, and who have their own views. He also said that leaders have to be able to take criticism and acknowledge mistakes.

PM Lee spoke at a closed-door dialogue with around 100 leaders from the global tech sector, organised by venture capital firm Sequoia Capital India. He also spoke about how Singapore has to leverage technology to move forward while managing change.

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Recent complaints by local bike rental firms (the kiosks at parks like East Coast Park) highlight both the uses of tech and the disruptive changes it brings. Bike rental firms, which rent out rides at $7-8 an hour are crying foul over Chinese bike sharing company ofo’s business practices.

The new entrant into the bike rental market parks bikes illegally (ST ran a photo of ofo bikes parked in carpark lots), pay no rent (since they don’t have to tender for kiosks), and charge a market-breaking price of $0.50 a ride with no time limit. Kiosk owners also complain about how public facilities like bike stands are being used for profit without the company having to pay a cent.

Ofo and local outfit Obike (that charges $1 and has deployed bikes mostly around MRT stations) have developed systems that allow customers to unlock bikes using their mobile phones and simply park them wherever they end their journey instead of having to bring them back to a kiosk.

Nparks and LTA are monitoring the situation, but are most concerned with illegal parking and safety. Is this the start of the Uber-isation of bicycles? Will outdated business models simply fall by the wayside?

The complaints are also piling up after the Guns N’ Roses concert on Saturday night (Feb 25). Concertgoers lambasted LAMC Productions, the organiser, for poor planning and a poor experience, with issues arising from food and drink shortages, hour-long queues, leftover credits from an RFID payment system, and transport woes to and from the remote Changi Exhibition Centre.

LAMC Productions chief Mr Rob Knudson took full responsibility for the situation, saying that the company would formulate a refund process for unspent credits, and that the company would take the criticism and plan better for future events.

Well, at least the band played on.


Featured image from TMG file.

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