LTA to act against Ofo for having too many bicycles

Ofo was originally allowed to have 25,000 bicycles, but it requested to reduce that to 10,000.
Ofo was originally allowed to have 25,000 bicycles, but it requested to reduce that to 10,000.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - The Land Transport Authority (LTA) has said it will proceed to take action against bicycle-sharing operator Ofo, which still has a fleet size "significantly above" 25,000.

The LTA said last week that the six operators granted licences have been assigned a maximum fleet to ensure optimal usage.

Overall, the shared bicycle population in Singapore has been cut from 100,000 in September to 40,500 effective Nov 1.

Ofo was originally allowed to have 25,000 bicycles, but it requested to reduce that to 10,000.

The China-based company still has a fleet size that is significantly above its maximum fleet size of 10,000 "or even the fleet size of 25,000 that LTA was originally prepared to grant", the authority said on Monday (Nov 5).

However, the LTA would not say how many bikes in excess the operator had, citing the information was “commercially sensitive”. It said it had “accordingly given notice to Ofo of our intention to take regulatory actions for the breach of this licence condition”.

In response, Ofo Singapore country manager Isabelle Neo said: “Ofo has been clear and transparent in our communications to the LTA that the additional right-sizing of our fleet to 10,000 bikes would require more time.

“We are confident to be fully compliant in the coming days. It is disheartening to learn that a fine was so quickly imposed and towards only one operator. We hope that the LTA will consider giving us more time to do so.”

Ofo would not reveal its fleet size either. But The Straits Times understands it had up to 70,000 bikes earlier this year.

According to the Parking Place Act, Ofo could face a fine of up to $100,000 for its infringement. 

An LTA spokesman said: “LTA strongly reminds all licensees and potential applicants to fully comply with all licence conditions and standards of performance.”