Despite excellent feedback on the share-bike initiative and more than a thousand users per day, the share-bike project is suffering from renters who think that the bikes are “giveaways from the government”. Many users have taken the bike back home and using it as a personal belonging. Some of them have even brought their pick-ups and motor-tricycle (samlor) to take the bikes home.
The General Manager of Ofo Thailand, Noppadon Tujinda, says that the incidents might happen from either selfishness or misunderstanding that the bikes are given away for free.
“I would like to remind people that the bikes are for public use. It is free of charge to use for the first month and this promotion will last until the end of this month. After October 31, there will be a small rental fee and the bikes can be used for point-to-point transport. Apart from the 6 bikes dumped in the canal, we also found that there are some people using the bikes 30-40 kilometres away from the intended locations and rental spots,” he said.
“What we are really worried about the most is the group of people that are taking the bikes home – that number has now reached more than a hundred bikes. When our staff ask to return it back, they claim that they got this as a giveaway, so we need to ensure people understand the concept properly.
“I would like people to be fully aware about the intent of the project and that the bikes are not for people to keep. People who take the bikes back home can be prosecuted for stealing them and there are a lot of Phuket people who are angry about this incident as it destroys Phuket’s image.”
Meanwhile, Pol Maj Gen Terrapin Thipcharoen, Phuket Police Commander, says that regarding the dumped bikes in the canal, there are CCTV camera footages as well as information about the last users and those who keep the bikes home will be prosecuted for robbery.
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