Bike-sharing start-up oBike officially launches, to offer Tampines residents free one-month usage

Tampines Town Council general manager Chan Wee Lee (left) and oBike general manager Elgin Ee on the bicycles.
Tampines Town Council general manager Chan Wee Lee (left) and oBike general manager Elgin Ee on the bicycles. PHOTO: OBIKE

SINGAPORE - Local start-up oBike announced its official launch on Thursday (April 13), along with a partnership with the Tampines Town Council to promote the adoption of bike-sharing in the estate.

Through the collaboration, oBike plans to offer residents in Tampines a month of free usage and more parking areas in the estate through new demarcated zones.

The firm, which has deployed 1,000 bicycles in February, plans to ramp this up to "tens of thousands", said general manager Elgin Ee.

It is one of three bike-sharing companies and, like rivals MoBike and ofo, it offers users the convenience of renting a bicycle using a mobile app, without having to return it at a fixed docking location. oBike's rentals are priced at 50 cents for 15 minutes.

While bike-sharing companies have been showing strong interest in the Singapore market, their bicycles have been found to be vandalised or parked indiscriminately around the island.

To encourage responsible use of the shared bikes, oBike said it will work with Tampines' volunteer cycling ambassadors to promote the civic-minded usage of the shared bicycles.

Mr Ee said that in the last few weeks, its mobile app points system has been enhanced with features to deter the indiscriminate use of the bicycles. It previously only rewarded users for frequent usage.

Under the new scoring system, users found to have parked their oBike at a non-designated area or who forget to lock the bike will have 20 points deducted from their account, for example.

Incurring a negative value on their points score will result in users paying more exorbitant rental rates.

oBike said it will announce more details of the free one-month usage for Tampines residents in time.