TRANSPORT & LOGISTICS | Staff Reporter, Singapore

GrabCycle stops offering oBike bicycles in marketplace

oBike stopped its Singapore operations yesterday after struggling with licence requirements.

oBike will cease its operations in Singapore due to difficulties with fulfilling new requirements and guidelines released by the Land Transport Authority (LTA) towards dock-less bicycle sharing in Singapore, it said in a Facebook post.

It will stop operations from 25 June 2018. Those that own its oBike Super VIP (SVIP) membership will also still be able to use oBike services outside Singapore.

“oBike strongly believes and is committed to provide dock-less bicycle sharing service that would benefit users’ commuting and Singapore’s transportation system, however it is with regret that the new regulation measures do not favour this belief of ours,” it said.

The company previously told Singapore Business Review that the licencing of bike-share operators might “slow down” Singapore’s move towards a car-lite future. “The move to introduce licensing regimes instead of educating users, places a heavy burden on start-ups, which in turn means that bike sharing users will suffer,” Tim Phang, general manager of oBike, said.

It said users that still want to use oBike services in Singapore can do so with its partner GrabCycle. “Users are advised to contact GrabCycle directly for further enquiries regarding the respective oBike services.”

However, in a statement sent to the press, GrabCycle said they are no longer able to offer oBike’s bicycles on the GrabCycle marketplace, as oBike will not have the appropriate bike-sharing license to operate in Singapore, nor will they be maintaining their fleet of bicycles.

"As a marketplace app, our promise is to enable customers to find a shared bike or a personal mobility device easily by bringing multiple personal mobility brands into the GrabCycle app," it said. "With one fewer partner, we understand that our customers’ experience will be impacted. As such, we will be waiving all existing GrabCycle subscription fees and deposits, and offering a four-week free trial on GrabCycle for current users so that they can try our newest bike-share partner, Anywheel."

“oBike would like to express its sincerest apologies to more than 1 million users in Singapore that have supported its services and products since oBike’s launch in January 2017,” it concluded.

Meanwhile, Sharon Meng, country manager of Mobike Singapore, told Singapore Business Review that it strives to be a sustainable mobility partner of choice for Singapore and continues to promote a "healthy and enjoyable" bike-sharing experience in the city-state.

"Mobike is applying for LTA’s bike-sharing license to continue operating our fleet of smart bikes in Singapore. In our application, we are taking the demands of urban residents in Singapore into careful consideration and will maintain a bike fleet optimized based on data-driven analysis from our AI platform tracking our bikes 24 hours a day," she added.

Other bike-share operators did not respond to our request for comments.

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