Bicycle-sharing firm Mobike raises bike rental prices

The rental rate for a single trip now costs 99 cents for every 20 minutes, up from the previous rental rate of 50 cents per 20 minutes.
The rental rate for a single trip now costs 99 cents for every 20 minutes, up from the previous rental rate of 50 cents per 20 minutes.ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

SINGAPORE - Major bicycle-sharing firm Mobike, which has a fleet of 25,000, has nearly doubled its bike rental prices.

According to the China-based firm's website, the rental rate for a single trip costs 99 cents for every 20 minutes, up from its previous rental rate of 50 cents per 20 minutes.

The new pricing kicked in on Thursday (Nov 1), Chinese newspaper Shin Min Daily News reported.

Its price hike follows competitor ofo's rental rate increase last month, and comes after a new licensing fee that kicked in on Thursday.

In line with the Land Transport Authority's (LTA) regulations, Mobike paid $30 to operate each bicycle for two years, as well as a security deposit of $30 per bike.

There are currently six firms operating 40,500 bikes in Singapore - Mobike has the largest fleet, followed by ofo with 10,000 bicycles.

The prices for Mobike's passes have not increased - a 30-day pass costs $7.99, a 90-day pass costs $19.99, and a 180-day pass costs $36.66.

 

Mobike removed its deposit fees in June this year, and there are no costs for reserving or cancelling a bike rental.

Mobike told The Straits Times that it updates its fees based on supply and demand, in order to support a sustainable business.

It added: "Singapore was the first city outside of China to welcome Mobike, and we look forward to continuing to be part of the city for many years to come."

Commenting in October on ofo's price hike, Singapore University of Social Sciences transport economist Walter Theseira said then that it may just be a matter of time before other companies raise their prices as well.

Dr Theseira added that these other companies would stick to lower prices initially, but could increase their rates should ofo's business be unaffected by the higher prices.


Correction note: An earlier version of this story said Mobike had a fleet of 20,500. It should be 25,000. We are sorry for the error.