Workers remove shared bikes from the pavement at Yan'an Road East, Huangpu. (Jiang Xiaowei)
The trucks turned up at Pudong's Longyang Road Metro station yesterday and it was goodbye to all the illegally parked bikes nearby.
The action was part of the city-wide, monthlong crackdown by local district authorities to remove shared bikes that block streets, walkways and transportation hubs.
"Longyang Road station is shared by three Metro lines and one maglev line. It's also a transportation hub for buses," said Wang Qi, an official with the Pudong New Area's transportation authority. "The human traffic and vehicle traffic is enormous here, and blocked sidewalks can be very dangerous to pedestrians."
She said it's the bike-sharing companies' responsibility to move illegally parked bikes but they are unable to keep on top of the problem.
According to Wang, the district has about 172,000 shared bikes, which are mainly focused in the downtown area. The authority recently prepared a space of about 48,000 square meters to store up to 70,000 bikes that have been carted off by the authorities.
Last Sunday and Monday alone nearly 1,400 bikes had been cleared from the streets and moved to the storage space.
A similar crackdown is also under way in Huangpu.
The district has many narrow streets and limited parking resources that can handle a maximum 70,000 bikes, meaning an estimated 30,000 have no place to park legally.
"With the order to stop the launch of new shared bikes, we've found the management of illegal parking is easier than before," Chen Zhen, an official with the district's comprehensive management office said.
The authority said local officials and staff from a third-party management company will inform the bike-sharing companies via a platform if they see shared bikes competing for parking spaces.
If the companies cannot clear their bikes in time, the authority will send trucks to take them to two special parking lots, which can house about 8,000 bikes, but they have already hit their limit, Chen said.
Shi Huaqing of Mobike's maintenance department said the company has increased its maintenance vehicles from 30 to 37 in Huangpu District, with each able to carry about 30 bikes a time. It aims to cut the number of Mobikes to within 10,000 in Huangpu.