Bicycle-sharing company ofo to set up 25 new bike parking zones in town and the west

Ofo's bicycles seen in Singapore on Aug 29, 2017. The company is setting up 25 new parking zones in the city centre and west areas.
Ofo's bicycles seen in Singapore on Aug 29, 2017. The company is setting up 25 new parking zones in the city centre and west areas. PHOTO: REUTERS

SINGAPORE - Bike-sharing company ofo will be setting up 25 new bicycle parking zones in the city centre and west areas of Singapore, it said on Thursday (Sept 7).

This initiative stems from a growing demand for parking zones situated near bus stops and drop-off points, ofo added in a statement to the media.

The parking zones will be demarcated as bright yellow boxes and will provide more than 400 additional parking spaces for shared and personal bikes.

Currently, ofo's bike parking zones are located in Marina Bay Sands, Suntec City and Jurong West. In the coming months, new parking zones will be rolled out in areas with high traffic, such as Orchard and Tanglin, and neighbourhoods such as Novena, Queenstown and Jurong East.

Ofo hopes that with these designated bike parking zones, issues relating to indiscriminate parking will be mitigated.

Head of Asia-Pacific business for ofo Lawrence Cao said: "As we add on more LTA-approved bike parking zones across Singapore, we believe it will drive more responsible biking practices, and ultimately help to propel the Government's vision for Singapore to become a car-lite city."

He added: "We believe this is a critical step towards the creation of a sustainable urban transportation system, where cycling serves as a viable first- and last-mile transport option for users."

 
 

The move to have more parking spaces is also part of a wider push to get bike users to park in proper, designated areas, rather than leave their vehicles around carelessly.

Two weeks ago, new bicycle-sharing firm SG Bike announced that it will be using geofencing to push cyclists to park their two-wheelers within a set physical boundary, or risk a fine.

Cyclists have to park their bikes around a device called a "geostation", which emits a radio- frequency identification field that recognises the firm's bicycles parked nearby.

If a user parks the bicycle outside the zone at the end of use, a device on the bike will emit an alarm, and the user's app will notify him to move the bike into the zone, or be penalised.

Ofo said that its own geofencing system is scheduled to be launched by the end of this year.

In July, 70 shared bicycles were impounded by the Land Transport Authority. On its Facebook page, LTA said that the bikes were impounded because they were found to be parked indiscriminately and not removed within the notice period.

As of early August, the total number of bikes impounded this year is 278.

Ofo said that to sustain the nascent bike-sharing industry globally and in Singapore, it commits itself to "ongoing public education programmes that educate communities on responsible biking practices". It added that it works closely with the public to report incidents of bike misuse or abuse on its Facebook page and mobile app.