Anywheel, MoBike, ofo and SG Bike apply for bike-share operating licences

MoBike and ofo, which are from China, and Singapore-founded Anywheel confirmed on June 29, 2018, that they had submitted their applications to the LTA. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

SINGAPORE - Four bike-share companies - Anywheel, MoBike, ofo, and SG Bike - have submitted their applications to the Land Transport Authority (LTA) for a licence to operate dockless bicycle rental services in Singapore.

MoBike and ofo, which are from China, and Singapore-founded Anywheel confirmed on Friday afternoon (June 29) that they had submitted their documents, while SG Bike did so on Wednesday (June 27).

Despite suggestions from recently shuttered operator oBike that the requirements under the licensing regime may be too onerous, the four firms say they are keen to continue offering bicycle rentals here.

Under the new regime, the fleet sizes of each bike-share operator will be controlled, and they will have to take measures to ensure their users park responsibly, failing which they will be fined.

Besides a one-time application fee of $1,500, some of the regulatory costs also include a $60 fee for every bicycle deployed - comprising a $30 licensing fee and a $30 security deposit.

ofo Singapore said it has applied to run a fleet of 80,000 bikes here, while Anywheel is looking to deploy 30,000 bikes.

SG Bike, which has a fleet of 1,500 bicycles currently, would only say that it is applying to operate a larger fleet size than that. MoBike Singapore declined to reveal the fleet size it was applying for.

Ms Sharon Meng, Mobike Singapore's country manager, said: "We remain confident that we have submitted a compliant bid."

Asked about the LTA's licensing regime, SG Bike's marketing director Benjamin Oh said: "The costs are manageable. We try to grow at a sustainable rate, and make sure that whatever number of bicycles we bring in, we can manage the fleet responsibly."

Anywheel founder Htay Aung said the firm has a rental fleet which is in the "thousands" but it is looking to expand its operations under the GrabCycle marketplace app platform, which allows users to rent bicycles and e-scooters from different companies.

He expects Anywheel's bikes to be available on GrabCycle in the "next few weeks", which will fill the vacuum left by oBike - one of Grab's partners.

Mr Yau Fun Heng, general manager of ofo Singapore, said: "The company remains confident in the bike-sharing industry in Singapore and will continue working with our partners to positively contribute to the Singapore Government's vision of a car-lite nation."

On Monday (June 25), Chinese-founded oBike announced that it was shutting down operations. The firm said previously that it had a fleet of 14,000 bicycles and one million users.

GBikes, an initiative by financial technologies solution firm FinTechSG, announced earlier that it will stop operations on July 7, the day applications for the operating licence close.

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