Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Foldable bicycles aren't that special

In the General Guidlines for the Fold it and ride it, a six month trial to bring foldable bicycles on trains and buses, I find some of the guidelines are too general to be place under this trial. Let me list them here ... :
c) Foldable bicycles should not exceed 114 cm by 64 cm by 36 cm when folded.
Why is this size limitation only apply to foldable bicycles but not other bulky items that have already been brought on to the train and buses, such as lugguage?
d) The wheels of the foldable bicycles should be wrapped up if they are dirty or wet.
What about dirty or wet wheels of other devices such as prams?
e) Protruding parts likely to cause injury or dirty/damage property to be covered up.
Shouldn't this under general safety guidelines?
g) Foldable bicycles should be carried in an upright position.
Isn't this quite common sense? However, I believe sometime it might also be sensible to lay a bulky item horizontally, e.g. under the seat.
h) Only two foldable bicycles are allowed on each bus at any one time.
Strange, is there a limit as to how many pieces of lugguages allowed on each bus? Thus, a family going outing with 3 foldable bicycles will need to travel on different buses?
f) Foldable bicycles should not block the aisles and doors or impede commuter movement at any time.
i) When travelling by train, cyclist should use the first or last car, which is less crowded.
j) Cyclists should use the lifts and wide fare gates at MRT / LRT stations where these are available.
k) Foldable bicycles are not allowed on the upper deck of a bus or placed on the staircase leading to the upper deck.
These should also apply to anyone carrying bulky items, that may cause blockage, slow down walking speed, or require wider gates/path.
m) For the trial on trains, off-peak hours during the six month trial period, 24
May to 24 November, are defined as:
- Mon – Fri: 9.30am – 4.30pm, 7.30 pm to end of revenue service
- All day on Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays
This point is quite redundant given the power of staffs make situational decisions as stated below:
SMRT / SBS Transit station staff and bus drivers may disallow foldable bicycles if the actual situation within an MRT/LRT station, bus interchange/terminal or on board a train/bus does not permit foldable bicycles to be admitted safely and without inconveniencing other commuters.
l) From 24 May to 24 August 2008, foldable bicycles are allowed on buses all day on Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays. They are not allowed on Mondays to Fridays. This will be reviewed after three months.
It is good for LTA to act promptly, but isn't this a bit too promptly? A news release on 21 May for a trial starting 24 May. There could be many who want to give it a try, but may take them a week or longer before they get a foldable bicycle. Thus, the trial will have a mixture of results due to a mixture of people and usage, from mainly existing foldable bicycle users in the beginning, mixture of more novice users in the middle stage, and unclear proportions at the latter stage.

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