Over 35,000 oBike bicycles removed: LTA

Bicycles from oBike being collected in Telok Blangah Drive. LTA had given oBike until Tuesday to remove its bicycles, an extension granted after the initial July 4 deadline expired. A heap of oBike bicycles at a scrapyard. Noting the progress made by
Bicycles from oBike being collected in Telok Blangah Drive. LTA had given oBike until Tuesday to remove its bicycles, an extension granted after the initial July 4 deadline expired. PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

Deadline for removal expires, but authority says firm's liquidators have made significant progress

Bike-sharing company oBike has made significant progress in removing its bicycles from public spaces, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) said yesterday.

Since July 5, business advisory firm FTI Consulting - appointed last month as oBike's provisional liquidators - has taken more than 35,000 oBike bicycles off the streets here, the LTA added.

This number represents about 70 per cent of the total number of oBike two-wheelers here.

While oBike chairman Shi Yi had earlier said the firm has about 70,000 bikes in the Republic, the LTA yesterday put the figure at 40,000 to 50,000.

The Straits Times had reported that these bicycles had been sent to metal recycling facilities here to be scrapped.

oBike ended its Singapore operations unexpectedly in June after about 18 months.

LTA had given oBike until Tuesday to remove its bicycles - an extension granted following the expiry of its initial July 4 deadline - and said it would step in to remove the bikes and impose the resulting fees on oBike only if the company failed to do so.

 
 
 
 

However, noting the progress made by FTI Consulting in removing the bicycles, the authority said yesterday that it "will continue to monitor the situation closely and step in to remove the remaining bicycles should the company's provisional liquidators fail to do so in a prompt manner".

Today, FTI Consulting will hold a meeting for the troubled bike-sharing firm's creditors, including users who have asked for their deposits back. The meeting will be held at the Shine Auditorium at Shaw Tower in Beach Road at 3pm.

Though oBike's Mr Shi had told The Straits Times the company owed around 100,000 users about $6.3 million in deposits, FTI Consulting later noted that it owed about 220,000 users almost $9 million in unrefunded deposits.

As of last month, more than 6,000 users had submitted claims for deposits amounting to more than $280,000.

The LTA said it would - together with other organisations such as the Personal Data Protection Commission and the Consumers Association of Singapore - continue to work closely with FTI Consulting and oBike's global office in ensuring the bike-sharing operator exits the market in a "responsible manner".

Members of the public who wish to report locations of oBike bicycles can send an e-mail to obikelocated@fticonsulting.com

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 02, 2018, with the headline 'Over 35,000 oBike bicycles removed: LTA'. Print Edition | Subscribe