American company starts shared e-scooter scheme at Singapore Science Park 1 and 2

Lime's green and black PMDs cost $1 to unlock, and 20 cents for every minute they are used. A local operations team regularly charges its scooters, and redeploys them to high-use locations. ST PHOTO: ZHAKI ABDULLAH

SINGAPORE - Shared e-scooter company Lime has begun rolling out its personal mobility devices (PMD) into Singapore, through a partnership with property developer Ascendas-Singbridge.

Lime's e-scooters are deployed at Singapore Science Park 1 and 2, the American company said in a release on Thursday (Nov 22).

The Straits Times understands that the devices have been available at the locations for at least the past two weeks.

Valued at US$1.1 billion (S$1.5 billion), Lime was formed in January last year and currently operates in more than 125 markets worldwide.

It is one of several shared e-scooter firms to have emerged in the last two years. Lime's rival Bird - also from the United States - was valued at US$2 billion earlier this year and operates in more than 100 cities in countries such as the US, France and Israel.

Lime's Asia-Pacific regional general manager Anthony Fleo described Singapore as "the perfect place for alternative, environmentally-friendly urban mobility".

Ascendas-Singbridge deputy group chief executive Manohar Khiatani said Lime's technology will be a "valuable addition to the last-mile connectivity solutions in our parks, further enhancing our tenants' commuting experience".

Checks by The Straits Times on Nov 14 found more than 20 of Lime's green and black PMDs ready to be hired at the Ascent building on Science Park Drive.

The devices cost $1 to unlock, and 20 cents for every minute they are used. A four-minute ride cost $1.80.

Lime said it has a "dedicated local operations team" that regularly charges its scooters, and redeploys them to high-use locations.

"In addition, Lime advises riders to park within clearly demarcated, dedicated parking areas - also known as geofences - through in-app GPS maps. These features help to alleviate issues such as the scattered abandonment of shared PMDs after use," said a spokesman.

The company added it will also be rolling out a rider safety education programme in Singapore, as part of its US$3 million Respect The Ride campaign.

In Singapore, locally based companies such as Telepod and Neuron Mobility also began offering their shared PMDs in partnership with property owners in various locations islandwide last year.

In October, Beam, also based in Singapore, announced it had raised US$6.4 million to roll out its rental PMDs here.

In Parliament on Tuesday, Senior Minister of State for Transport Lam Pin Min announced that PMD-sharing services in public areas will be restricted to "small-scale operations with limited fleet sizes" when licence applications for such services begin in January.

He said this will limit the impact of their operations and allow the Land Transport Authority (LTA) to "assess the operators' operations and ability to comply with regulatory requirements, before LTA considers granting any full licences for large-scale operations".

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