St John's Island to get bike rental kiosk

The kiosk will be located about 400m away from the jetty where visitors arriving from Marina South Pier disembark. PHOTO: LEX TAICHO/YOUTUBE

SINGAPORE - St John's Island will get a bicycle rental kiosk following a successful trial last year.

A spokesman for the Sentosa Development Corporation (SDC), which will appoint an operator to run the kiosk, said its trial between March and September last year received positive feedback from users, prompting it to set up a kiosk.

It will work with the Singapore Land Authority, which manages the Southern Islands, to have a kiosk operate for two years.

The new kiosk will be located about 400m away from the jetty on St John's Island, where visitors arriving from Marina South Pier disembark. The island is land-linked to Lazarus, Seringat and Kias Islands, with the beach on Lazarus Island a popular spot among those who visit the island cluster.

Those arriving from Sentosa will need to walk about 1km to the kiosk from Seringat Jetty.

While the SDC spokesman said that the number of proposed operating days is to be confirmed, procurement documents state that the kiosk could operate for 205 days a year, including Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, as well as school holidays.

Where appropriate, the appointed operator can monitor demand and further calibrate its opening days, added the spokesman.

The kiosk will have a floor area of about 80 sq m, similar to the size of a badminton court.

Its operator will be allowed to sell canned and bottled drinks, although the sale of alcoholic drinks will be prohibited.

However, it will not be allowed to rent or sell any motorised mobility devices, such as electric bicycles, and portable barbecue pits.

Mr Gusdiharto Pratomo, 46, who explored St John's Island with his son last year using their own bicycles, said that, on a bike, he could cover most of the island in a day, something not possible on foot.

"It may seem like a small cluster, but you can't see everything just walking," said the product manager in the information technology industry.

He added that with most areas on the island paved, cycling will be beginner-friendly.

The spokesman said that the new bike kiosk is part of the Sustainable Sentosa roadmap that was announced in September 2021. SDC had said then that it would launch new low-carbon leisure experiences in the Southern Islands to extend the range of offerings available to Sentosa guests.

Since the Covid-19 pandemic started, visitor numbers to the Southern Islands have ballooned, with travel-starved Singapore residents looking for recreation options within the country.

A monthly average of about 6,800 visitors visited St John's Island in 2019, while about 200,000 visited in the whole of 2021 - more than twice 2019's visitorship.

Visitors can also look forward to more activities at Bendera Bay - a lagoon on St John's Island's eastern coast - led by volunteer group Friends of Marine Park.

Visitors can look forward to more activities at Bendera Bay, a lagoon on St John's Island's eastern coast. PHOTO: ST FILE

Dr Karenne Tun, director of the coastal and marine branch at the National Parks Board's National Biodiversity Centre, said the group organised over 40 volunteer-led activities last year, such as beach and underwater clean-ups and citizen-science research at Bendera Bay.

In 2022, the board will continue to partner the group through ground-up programmes and activities at the bay that foster a sense of stewardship and community, added Dr Tun.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.