Seven companies apply to LTA for bike-sharing licence

Mobike bicycles parked at Chinatown MRT station. Mobike, ofo, SG Bike and GBikes have submitted their applications to the Land Transport Authority for a full licence to operate dockless bicycle rental services.
Mobike bicycles parked at Chinatown MRT station. Mobike, ofo, SG Bike and GBikes have submitted their applications to the Land Transport Authority for a full licence to operate dockless bicycle rental services.ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

Four bicycle-sharing firms - ofo, Mobike, SG Bike and GBikes - have submitted their applications to the Land Transport Authority (LTA) for a full licence to operate dockless bicycle rental services.

Three others - Anywheel, QiQi Zhixiang and GrabCycle - have submitted their applications for a regulatory sandbox licence. The regulatory sandbox licence is for firms without a sufficiently long track record in operating a bike-sharing service in Singapore, an LTA spokesman said yesterday.

Three operators previously said they would be pulling out of Singapore before the application period closed on Saturday: oBike, GBikes and ShareBikeSG.

Regarding the application by car ride-hailing firm Grab, a company spokesman said: "We want to reduce the friction in daily commutes and help people travel easily using a combination of shared mobility services, including bicycles, cars, taxis and buses. Our application for the sandbox licence underlines this effort."

The current GrabCycle marketplace app platform allows users to rent bicycles and e-scooters from different companies.

When asked if its application to the LTA meant Grab would introduce its own fleet, the spokesman declined to comment.

LTA's spokesman said that the authority is currently reviewing all applications. It will announce the results of the evaluation by September.

Jose Hong

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 09, 2018, with the headline 'Seven companies apply to LTA for bike-sharing licence'. Print Edition | Subscribe