35,000 oBike bicycles, about 70 per cent of the total number here, removed from public spaces: LTA

oBike ended its Singapore operations unexpectedly in June, after about 18 months of operating here. ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

SINGAPORE - "Significant progress" has been made in removing oBike's bicycles from public spaces, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) said on Wednesday (Aug 1).

Since July 5, business advisory firm FTI Consulting - appointed last month as oBike's provisional liquidators - has removed more than 35,000 bicycles from public areas here, the LTA told The Straits Times.

This is about 70 per cent of the total number of oBike two-wheelers here.

While oBike chairman Shi Yi had earlier said the firm had about 70,000 bikes in the Republic, the LTA on Wednesday put the figure at 40,000 to 50,000.

The ST had earlier reported that these bicycles had been sent to metal recycling facilities here to be scrapped.

oBike ended its Singapore operations unexpectedly in June, after about 18 months of operating here.

The LTA had previously given oBike until the end of July to remove its bicycles - an extension granted following the expiry of its initial July 4 deadline - and said it would step in to remove the bikes only if the firm failed to do so.

However, noting the progress made by FTI Consulting in removing the bicycles, the authority said on Wednesday that it "will continue to monitor the situation closely and step in to remove the remaining bicycles should the company's provisional liquidators fail to do so in a prompt manner".

On Thursday, FTI consulting will hold a meeting for the troubled bike-sharing firm's creditors, including users who have asked for their deposits back.

The meeting will be held at the Shine Auditorium at Shaw Tower in Beach Road at 3pm.

Though oBike's Mr Shi had told ST the company owed around 100,000 users about $6.3 million in deposits, FTI Consulting later noted that it owed about 220,000 users almost $9 million in unrefunded deposits.

As of last month, more than 6,000 users had submitted claims for deposits amounting to more than $280,000.

The LTA said it would - together with other organisations such as the Personal Data Protection Commission and the Consumers Association of Singapore - continue to work closely with FTI Consulting and oBike's global office in ensuring the bike-sharing operator exits the market in a "responsible manner".

The LTA said members of the public who wish to report locations of oBike bicycles can e-mail: obikelocated@fticonsulting.com

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