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Singapore govt approves 6 bike-share operators, but halves the fleets

Licensed operators like Mobike and Ofo can submit applications to expand their fleet sizes twice a year, said the city-state.

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Singapore govt approves 6 bike-share operators, but halves the fleets

Singaporean government agency Land Transport Authority (LTA) will grant licenses to six out of seven dockless bike-sharing operators end-October 2018 after the payment of license fees is received, it said in a press release on Friday.

Out of the six, three (Mobike, ofo and SG Bike) will receive full licenses, while the other three (Anywheel, Grabcycle and Qiqi Zhixiang) will receive sandbox licenses. GBikes, it said, “did not satisfy the assessment criteria, including criteria relating to the robustness of its proposed implementation plan.”

According to the new rules, Chinese bicycle-sharing operators Mobike and ofo will operate out of a maximum fleet size of 25,000 bicycles, followed by SG Bike at 3,000; Anywheel and Grabcycle 1,000 each; and Qiqi Zhixiang 500. This brings the total number of shared bikes to around 55,000, half of the 100,000 shared bikes that are presently on the island.

Ofo expressed disappointment about the matter. Its Singapore General Manager Isabelle Neo told Today that the 25,000 bicycles allotment will not be enough to support “the high demand for bike-sharing in Singapore”.

The authority also said that while bicycle-sharing services let people get access to a “convenient and healthy option”, the velocity at which bicycles are added has resulted in “rampant indiscriminate parking of bicycles which creates safety issues and degrades our living environment”.

It also noted that Singapore has not seen strong utilisation of shared bicycles, saying that “about half of the population [of shared bicycles] is not actively used.” However, it will check the fleet sizes regularly to make sure that there’s enough supply for user demand.

Licensed bike-sharing operators that are looking to expand their fleet sizes can submit applications twice a year in January and July. For those that are new and intend to provide such services, including that of personal mobility devices, can go ahead with applying for a license in January 2019, the authority said.

Earlier last week, LTA also issued a statement that it will be launching a QR code parking system for users of bike-sharing services in early-2019, which will involve the g0vernment fining errant users who park their shared bikes outside a designated area S$5 (around US$3.65) per offence.

Repeat offenders found to have parked outside such an area more than three times in a calendar year will be blacklisted from all bike-sharing services for up to 12 months. It added that there are 207,000 designated spaces for parking shared bikes across the nation, and it is looking to up that number to 267,000 by 2020.

Editor: Ben Jiang